Srdjan Blagovcanin, a senior representative of the Transparency International in Bosnia and Hezregovina, criticised the decision of authorities in Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity to criminalize defamation and their announcement of a new law treating the work of non-profit organizations, calling it an “ominous announcement of the real intentions of the ruling regime in this entity to completely disable the rights and freedoms of speech, opinion, gathering and action of all dissenters.”
Speaking to Fena news agency, Blagovcanin said that these steps were made despite the reactions from the public, citizens, media, civil society activists, the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and many others, whereby “the ruling regime only confirms its repressive nature.”
If the laws come into force, the activity of free media and civil society organizations in Republika Srpska, as well as the freedom of speech of all citizens, will no longer be possible, according to Blagovcanin.
“By all accounts, we will have a mini-Belarus within Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he stressed.
Unfortunately, Blagovcanin said, over the past few days there is an atmosphere of lynch created in Republika Srpska, “orchestrated from the highest level of the executive power, which resulted in a series of violent attacks on the media, journalists and civil society activists.”
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