We Condemn the Attack on the Helsinki Committee

Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemns the attack on the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its staff. We urge the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take immediate action to ensure the safety and well being of those threatened.

A group called HERA (Herzeg-Bosnia Republican Alternative) published a proclamation under the title “The Helsinki Committee must leave the country within a month” on the website www.poskok.info. Accusing the Helsinki Committee of being “a foreign terrorist cell that supports its allies, the occupying authorities in Sarajevo”. HERA published a list with the names of all employees in the Helsinki Committee, including members of the Steering and Supervisory board. In addition, the proclamation says: “Members of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina – who do not leave the country – should be kidnapped and brought to Plo?no … where they should be subjected to strictest torture methods.”

This and similar threats do not only jeopardize the safety of persons against whom they are directed, but also the basic preconditions of a free and democratic society. These and similar attacks are direct consequences of the lack of appropriate response of the investigative and judicial authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Decisive and effective efforts in protecting human rights defenders, activists and journalists are a legal obligation.

Read statement: Letter to Presidency of BiH