Wednesday, January 26, 2022

United Nations: an impetus for hate speech violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia

The UN Human Rights Office condemns the rise of hate speech in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, warning that it could spark violence between Serbian and Muslim ethnic groups who fought devastating wars after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Last weekend’s religious holiday celebrations in the autonomous Serb republic of Srpska exposed a torrent of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech targeting certain communities.

UN human rights officials say individuals in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia glorified atrocities crimes and convicted war criminals, including Radovan Karadzi and Ratko Mlai.

UN human rights spokeswoman Liz Throsel called the incident an insult to survivors, including those returning home after the conflict.

“The failure to prevent and sanction acts that create an atmosphere of extreme anxiety, fear and insecurity in some communities is a major obstacle to trust-building and reconciliation,” Throsel said. “As we have repeatedly highlighted, the rise in hate speech, the denial of genocide and other atrocity crimes and the glorification of war criminals in the western Balkans highlight the failure to comprehensively address the past.”

About 100,000 people were killed in the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995. In July 1995, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered in the Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica massacre. The killings were carried out under the command of Ratko Mladi, who led the army of Republika Srpska.

Elections are due in Serbia in April and later in October in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Throsell warned that a failure to stop and sanction provocative hate speech would exacerbate an already extremely tense political climate.

“We once again emphasize the need for the authorities in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to comply with their international human rights obligations to ensure their rights to truth, justice and compensation,” Throsel said. “They should also adopt measures to prevent recurrence. And to promote further reconciliation efforts. We call on them to condemn and abstain from any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred.”

She says that all perpetrators and instigators of such acts should be held accountable.

The UN Human Rights Office is calling on political and religious leaders to speak out against discriminatory examples of intolerance and hate speech.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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