Ambassador Brian Aggeler, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited Banja Luka today where he held meetings with several local counterparts.
Ambassador Aggeler’s visit provided a valuable opportunity to support representatives of the media, human rights activists and their legal representatives. During the visit, he offered the Mission’s assistance in ensuring their safety and noted that the Mission will do all it can to support fundamental freedoms in RS In light of recent attacks in the city, this is especially important.
At the Republika Srpska National Assembly, Ambassador Aggeler discussed the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code (CC) with political party caucuses, recommending that the RS authorities refrain from their adoption. He also underlined that the OSCE Mission to BiH strongly opposes the adoption of any legislation limiting the civic space in light of the announced Foreign Agents Law.
During these meetings, Ambassador Aggeler noted that the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media encourages all participating States to fully decriminalize defamation.
“The attempts to criminalize defamation in one part of BiH have a negative effect on the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms and limits space for an effective civil society,” he added. Elaborating on current RS legislation governing the protection from defamation, he noted that it is perfectly suitable to address potential defamation and insults without the need for a specific legal remedy.
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