The members of the Ivanovic family, friends, party and political associates gathered at the annual memorial service for Oliver Ivanovic held in Belgrade today. The eldest of five of Ivanovic’s children, Nikola thanked everyone who came, but also everyone who could not come: „Because we know that you are with us. Thank you.“
The family of Oliver Ivanovic, friends and closest associates gathered in the first row, right next to the grave. The political leaders, such as the former Serbian President, Boris Tadic, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, as well as opposition leaders and deputies – Dragan Djilas, Borko Stefanovic from the Alliance for Serbia, President of the Democratic Party, Zoran Lutovac, as well as MPs Djordje Vukadinovic and Slavisa Ristic, stood side by side and laid flowers after lighting candles and paying tribute to the murdered Serbian politician from Kosovo.
Several media teams from Belgrade, as well as from Kosovo, also attended the service.
Oliver told us: A free man must never bow down to the bullies
„A year of pain and suffering,“ Oliver Ivanovic’s nephew, Aleksandar Ivanovic told KoSSev.
„By killing Oliver, they also killed a part of him which is in us all. This family will never be the same again,“ he added.
Ivanovic said that the family raises the question every day – Who? Why? Could it have „happened somewhat differently“?
At the same time, he underlined that the murder could „only be avoided“ by removing Oliver Ivanovic „away from Kosovo,“ but:
„That was the only thing that was not possible. We often talked to him on this topic, begging him to temporarily get away from Mitrovica, but he always responded and asked us not to do that to him. That is unfeasible. You do not bow down before criminals and bullies, do not ask me to do it. Ultimately, as a family you would be ashamed if I bowed down and admitted to them that they were right and that I was not – he told us.“
Aleksandar Ivanovic also shared his personal impression of his uncle’s murder: „He has been listening and watching us for this past year. We miss him terribly, but we are awfully proud that he did not bow in front of them. As children are born in our home and thank God that there are plenty of us, they will be taught to never bow down before criminals and bullies. We now see that the price can be too high, but in spite of that, a free man must never bow down to such people.“
When asked whether he expects that the murder investigation will be resolved, he admitted that he does not know.
Ivanovic said that most of the things he has read about in the media this year are „just politics,“ adding that, on the other hand, „there is no professional relationship“ between investigations conducted in Belgrade and Pristina.
„But hope remains. I am a man who always hopes, I always believe that something has to change. As a family, we will definitely never stop searching for the truth, so I hope that we will find who killed my uncle and why,” he concluded.
The memorial service for Oliver Ivanovic was also held in the Visoki Decani Monastery, which was particularly important to the Serbian politician.
Oliver Ivanovic was one of the most prominent Serbian politicians from Kosovo. He was killed on January 16th last year, in the morning, in front of the premises of the office where he worked for nearly two decades. The killers and the instigators remain unknown to date. Belgrade and Pristina are conducting two separate investigations.
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