UN's Ni Aolain: Issue of ultra-right extremism has not been resolved in Bosnia

NEWS 20.01.2023 14:34
Source: N1

The UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuale Ni Aolain, filed a report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, expressing deep concern about “revisionism, denial, polarisation and institutional discourse that create space for the rise of violent extremism” and warning that “extremism leads to terrorism.”

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a post-conflict society in a transition process. If the process of reconciliation, moving forward and commitment of the conflicting parties is not fully completed, we create conditions that produce and maintain violence in society. In this report, I pay special attention to the ways in which violence can occur, because it can occur in transitional societies. Post-conflict societies are extremely fragile and those that have not completed the transition process are societies that have a serious risk of new violence and violent extremism”, she was quoted as saying through a translator.

As a positive example for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ni Aolain said that there have been no terrorist attacks since 2016 and that Bosnia and Herzegovina is very low on the global index of the fight against terrorism, which is good for our society.

“This means that practical steps and security measures have been taken to prevent terrorism. The authorities have adopted a strategy for the fight against terrorism 2021-2026. It is necessary to resolve issues from the past in order to prevent terrorism,” she said.

In the past years, the UN expert stressed, the threat of citizens going to conflict zones and foreign battlefields, financing terrorism, and ethno-national extremism has been recognized.

“The issue of ultra-right extremism, which can undermine the integrity and functionality of the peace process, was not resolved. I call on governments at all levels to regulate the full spectrum of challenges we face, including far-right violent extremism. If we don't have functional authorities and the legacy of the past is not dealt with, conditions are created that lead to extremism,”, she said.

During her stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she visited several prison facilities, concluding that the country has a strong system in terms of rehabilitation and that there are experts who deal with the integration of prisoners into society, but that there is a lack of a probation system in BiH for people leaving prison.

She praised the authorities in the process of returning the Bosnian citizens from foreign battlefields, especially Syria in the part of reintegration of women and children, but also in the judicial prosecution of men who were on foreign battlefields.

“There is still a significant number of the Bosnian citizens in Syria. I call on the government to return its citizens. Every day that a child spends in these camps, it will be more and more difficult. The children did not choose to go there or to be born there,”, she was carried Ni Aolain.

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