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Denial of genocide in BiH will be punishable from Tomorrow

Amendments to the BiH Criminal Code were published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina today, which prohibit and punish the denial of genocide and the glorification of war crimes.

According to the information available on the website of the Office of the High Representative in BiH, the law enters into force eight days after its publication on the OHR website or the day after its publication in the Official Gazette of BiH, whichever comes first.

This means that the new provisions of the BiH Criminal Code, which refer to the denial of genocide, will enter into force tomorrow.

High Representative Valentin Inzko introduced amendments to the Criminal Code of Bosnia-Herzegovina today, sanctioning the glorification of war criminals convicted by final and binding judgments and the denial of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The amendments to the BiH Criminal Code aim to address the inadequacy of the currently applicable legal framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which does not offer an adequate response to the issue of hate speech manifested through the denial of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, even when those crimes have already been adjudicated with final and binding judgments reached by a number of domestic and international courts.

The High Representative believes that “the lack of acknowledgment, accountability and redress for victims of mass atrocities and systematic abuses has devastating effects on society.

Hate speech, the glorification of war criminals, and revisionism or outright denial of genocide and war crimes prevent societies from dealing with their collective past constitute renewed humiliation of the victims and their loved ones, while also perpetuating injustice and undermining interethnic relationships. All of this causes frustrations, makes the society chronically ill, and prevents the emergence of desperately needed reconciliation. Of course, all this prevents the building of a peaceful and prosperous future for Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

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