OSCE: Denialism and glorification of war criminals impedes reconciliation

NEWS 29.07.2021 12:24
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Glorification of war criminals and denialism on all sides impedes reconciliation, it is politically reckless and is dangerous to human security, the OSCE office in Bosnia and Herzegovina told N1, commenting on the Criminal Code changes that stipulate a jail sentence for anyone who denies genocide and other war crimes as well as those who glorify the war criminals, which came into effect this week.

In the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is the citizens, especially survivors and victims who suffer the most, the OSCE Mission said, days after the law amendments were introduced by the international envoy who oversees the peace process and is assigned with special powers to impose laws and dismiss officials.

“Denialism undermines efforts to deal with the legacy of war-time atrocities and negatively impacts the process of rebuilding social trust. Ultimately, it undermines the very fabric of a democratic society,” the OSCE added.

The organisation stressed that the new legislation allows for those who “practice this destabilising behaviour to be held accountable.”

“However, reconciliation is a process which requires multiple steps to bring about societal change. Measures and positive actions are needed from all political forces to build trust within and among communities, so they can work together to build a brighter future. We hope that these amendments will be used as an opportunity to build better relations and trust among political and societal actors,” it added.

The OSCE also expects that the country’s leaders and institutions will “work in the best interest of all citizens of BiH and take concrete steps to create an environment conducive to trust and reconciliation.”

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