The Tin Ears
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Thousands of Bosnians protested against violence against women across the country this week, days after a man murdered his ex-wife and livestreamed it on Instagram, the Associated Press reported.
The Balkan nation was shocked when shooter Nermin Sulejmanovic went on a rampage in the northeastern town of Gradacac last week.
Sulejmanovic posted a video on the social media platform telling his viewers would see a murder live. The video then shows him taking a gun and killing his former spouse, Nizama Hecimovic. He later went on two kill two more people and injure three more others before committing suicide.
The video has since been taken down, but the act prompted public outrage after it emerged that Hecimovic had reported her spouse to the police for harassment and domestic violence.
Sulejmanovic also had a record, being previously arrested for drug smuggling and attacking a police officer.
On Monday, thousands of people carried banners reading “Silence is approval” and “Stop femicide.” Demonstrators in the capital Sarajevo also held a large sign reading “Sarajevo against violence,” echoing a slogan of months-long street protests in neighboring Serbia.
United Nations officials described the murder as “a glaring and grave violation of human rights,” while Bosnian Human Rights Minister Sevlid Hurtic called for legal changes to enable strict punishment for violence against women and femicide.
Violence against women is prevalent in Bosnia and other parts of the Balkans, particularly in societies with conservative values and male-dominated structures. The region is also still grappling with the aftermath of intense conflicts during the 1990s that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
In May, Serbia was rocked by two mass shootings that led to widespread demonstrations calling for an end to the culture of violence, which critics say is fueled by mainstream media and the government.