Sarajevo, June 11, 2021 – The Municipal Court in Ljubuški issued a final verdict against Jurica Pavlović from Ljubuški, a member of the Armed Forces of BiH, for a message sent via Facebook to the writer Martina Mlinarević, the current ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Czech Republic.
In August 2019, after she published on Facebook that she was forbidden to present her book “Huzur” at the festival in Čitluk, Martina Mlinarević received a series of threatening messages that abound in hate speech. One of these messages was sent to her by soldier Jurica Pavlović, calling her a “traitor” of her people and an “enemy of the Croats”.
Due to the above message, the Municipal Court in Ljubuški on 25.03.2021. rendered a verdict against Pavlović for the criminal offense of “inciting ethnic, racial and religious hatred, discord or intolerance” (CCFBiH, Article 163, paragraph 1), sentencing him to three months in prison, which will not be executed if the convict does not commit a new crime within a year.
– We believe that prosecuting hate speech in public space is very important and especially punishing attackers for inciting racial, religious and ethnic hatred. The conviction for hate speech against Martina Mlinarević is especially important to us in the Free Media Help Line since we registered that in the last three years there has been an increasing number of gender-based pressures, threats and hate speech. A probation sentence in the Pavlović case is not enough satisfaction for this type of crime, but it certainly represents an encouraging step forward in the processing of hate speech online, especially on social networks – says Vildana Džekman, a lawyer at the BH Journalists Association Free Media Help Line.