It is unfortunate that the House of Peoples of BiH missed the opportunity to adopt the Amendments to the BiH Criminal Code related to the denial of genocide, the High Representative of the international community in BiH, Valentin Inzko, said on Tuesday.
Inzko is the international official tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended Bosnia’s war and contains the country’s Constitution.
“Domestic and international courts have determined that genocide was committed during the war in BiH,” Inzko said, arguing that “the denial of this fact and the fabrication of a distorted view of history and its frequent use in public discourse emphasize that there is an obvious need to pass a law that will solve this problem.”
“By adopting this law, parliamentarians in BiH would show readiness and determination to leave evil in the past and to focus on creating an atmosphere conducive to reconciliation and building a better, unencumbered future for all BiH citizens.
“It is unfortunate that they missed this opportunity, which came from domestic representatives,” he said.
The adoption of provisions prohibiting genocide denial through a domestic initiative would represent “a sign of maturity of BiH institutions and a high degree of their readiness to harmonize its legal framework of BiH with European standards,” he stressed.
The High Representative recalled the words of the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Judge Carmel Agius, who said that genocide denial was the final stage of genocide.
He also noted that the European Commission's Opinion on Bosnia’s EU candidate status stated that “revisionism and genocide denial are contrary to the most basic European values.”