EU Funds First BiH High Security State Prison

EU Funds High Security State Prison in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador of Czech Republic Jakub Skalnik, Ambassador of Kingdom of Spain Bosco Gimenez Soriano, Ambassador of Kingdom of Sweden Fredrik Schiller and BiH Minister of Justice Josip Grubeša, visited the construction site of the BiH High Security Prison in Istočno Sarajevo on 1 October. The prison, which should be completed by the end of 2016, will have the capacity to detain or imprison up to 348 individuals sentenced for war crime, organised crime, terrorism or corruption.

This project is worth 39.6 million EUR, out of which the EU, as the largest donor, provided 10.8 million EUR. The remaining funds were provided by the BiH Ministry of Justice, Kingdom of Sweden, United States, and through a loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Head of the EU Delegation to BiH/EUSR, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, emphasised the importance of this project for the country: “This state prison should be seen as a symbol of the rule of law in BiH and an important part on the country’s journey towards the European Union.”

BiH Minister of Justice, Josip Grubeša, thanked the donors and stressed the importance of justice system reform in the country. “Importance of this project should be viewed in the context of justice system reform, especially with regard to the alignment of the national judicial system to the best European practices,” Minister Grubeša stated.

Ambassador of Kingdom of Sweden, Fredrik Schiller, spoke of Sweden’s commitment to the progress of BiH on the European path: “Together we work to strengthen the rule of law, and Sweden is here to assist BiH in its Reform Agenda for European future.”

The High Security State Prison in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be fully compatible with European prison rules, which provide basic principles for respect of human rights of detained and imprisoned individuals.

Read here full speech by Ambassador Wigemark: