Sarajevo Police Evacuates Besieged Parliament
Sarajevo police evacuated early on Friday hundreds of people who had been kept inside Bosnia's Parliament for hours by protesters.
Thousands of protesters blockaded the buildings on Thursday, keeping inside Bosnian MPs and participants in a conference of the governors of the national banks of Southeastern Europe, who had sought help from their embassies as they felt like hostages, according to reports of the Focus news agency, citing Bosnian media outlets.
The protest was triggered by delays of a law on personal identification numbers, which has prevented parents from registering newborn babies since early 2013.
Without the IDs of their newborns, parents are unable to claim allowances, child health care and other state-provided help.
The rally was galvanized by the case of a 3-month baby needing an urgent life-saving medical operation in Germany, whose treatment had been delayed by the prolonged dispute over the legislation.
The protesters demanded a new law after the Constitutional Court abolished the existing legislation on personal identification numbers in February, saying the names of several municipalities in the country had to be changed first, according to reports of DPA.
Bosnian Serb MPs in the State Parliament had complained that the law did not respect the boundary between the country's two autonomous entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.