WE INVITE POLITICAL PARTIES AND BOTH HOUSES OF FBiH PARLIAMENT TO JOIN POLITICAL DIALOG AND URGENT ADOPTION OF HATE CRIME INTO CRIMINAL LAW OF FBIH
Failure to adopt the amendments to the Criminal Law, the House of Peoples of the FBiH Parliament endangered protection of its citizens – FBiH is the only teritory in the region without the penal regulation of hate crime
Respecting its international obligations and the need for better protection of its citizens through the criminal law regulations, Federation BiH is obliged to institute hate crime in its Criminal Law. Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime has called upon the FBiH Government and Parliament to fulfill their obligations. Although the FBiH Parliament’s House of Representatives has adopted the text of the Law on Changes and Revisions of the Criminal Law of Federation BiH on July 23 of 2013, which included hate crime, the Law itself was not adopted on the session of the House of Peoples on Thursday, September 12 of 2013.
Hate crime was, according to the proposed Law, defined as any criminal act whose overwhelming or only motive to commit the act was hatred, e.i. intolerance or prejudice based on real or assumed personal characteristics such as national, ethnic of religious affiliation, color, sex, sexual orientation, disability, health status, gender identity or any other personal characteristic.
Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime believes that the failure to adopt the text of this Law is an irresponsible act of the delegates of FBiH Parliament’s House of Peoples. Hate crime regulation exists in most European countries, in Croatia and Serbia, as well as in Republika Srpska and Brčko District since 2010. The failure to adopt the amendments to the Criminal Law of, FBiH remains the only territory in the region which does not offer full penal protection to its citizens. The proposed definition of hate crime does not endanger the interests of peoples or political parties, but puts the protection of vulnerable groups into the spotlight: the returnees, national minorities, migrants, and LGBT persons, and no solid argument against the adoption of these amendments exists.
Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime invites parliamentary political parties, representatives of both Houses of Parliament to political dialog and reponsibility to institute hate crime into the Criminal Law of FBiH urgently. Coalition and its members will continue their work, advocating for the adequate regulation and processesing of hate crimes, as well as work on the awareness raising on the adversity of hate speech and the need of its penal regulation.
Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime