Minorities Face Widespread Discrimination, Says Rights Watchdog

Despite a progressive new anti-discrimination legislation, vulnerable minorities in Bosnia endured widespread discrimination in 2016, according to Amnesty International. The state-level and entity governments adopted amendments to laws on discrimination in 2016, but social exclusion and discrimination, in particular of Roma, gays and lesbians, remained widespread, the organization said in its annual report The State of the World’s Human Rights.

Bosnia also made no progress in implementing rulings rendered by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. In 2016, ICTY issued several verdicts in relation to crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war, but at the domestic level, access to justice and reparations for civilian victims of war remained limited.

“Despite earlier commitments by the authorities, no progress has been made on the adoption of the law on protection of victims of torture and the harmonization of entity laws regulating the rights of civilian victims of war to enable their effective access to services, free legal aid and effective reparation”, Amnesty said.

Bosnia fared poorly in terms of freedom of expression, the organization reported. It found that a pattern of threats, political pressure and attacks against journalists in Bosnia continued in 2016.

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