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Police dog handlers Azmir and Camil (I)

Left picture: Azmir (with dog Svip), right picture: Camil (with dog Tutu)
Left picture: Azmir (with dog Svip), right picture: Camil (with dog Tutu)

In August 1999, police dog handlers Azmir Omerovic, 40, and Camil Selimanovic, 37, participated in the search of a crowded restaurant in Sarajevo. Some of the people checked later complained to IPTF that they had been beaten by members of the special police, formally known as Sarajevo's "Support Unit", in which Omerovic and Selimanovic served.

Nineteen members of that unit were charged with serious breaches of law. Omerovic and Selimanovic were not among them: with their dogs, they had looked for drugs and stood guard, but not dealt with any member of the public. However, six weeks before the trial ended (with an acquittal), the IPTF Commissioner decided to deny certification to them, as well as the 19 officers on trial. "We were absolutely stunned when we received the letters," said Omerovic. "IPTF had never even spoken to us, and nobody had ever claimed that we had done anything wrong."

In IPTF's view, Omerovic and Selimanovic had failed “to demonstrate ability to uphold human rights and/or abide by the law”. IPTF's main allegation was that the dog handlers were covering up for their colleagues:

"Considering that in your report and statement to the investigative judge, you indicated that you did not see any support unit officer using force or assaulting persons, it can be reasonably concluded that you either committed or otherwise aided and abetted the execution of acts of illegal detention, beatings, excessive use of force and/or treatment amounting to inhuman or degrading treatment."
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