Sarajevo / Banja Luka, December 3, 2021 – The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association strongly condemns the inflammatory rhetoric against a number of journalists and media outlets in BiH in Facebook posts by Jasmin Mulahusic, who is currently under investigation of Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the criminal offense of inciting national, racial and religious hatred, discord and intolerance.
Since the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina released Mulahusic in early September this year, contrary to the proposal of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, without imposing any prohibitive measures on him, Mulahusic has continued to publish daily posts on his Facebook profiles against numerous journalists, editors and media outlets, targeting them as “radicals”, genocide deniers, representatives of the “Great Serbia project”, etc. Each of these announcements has dozens of comments from Mulahusic’s followers, which further spread hate speech against journalists, with the most horrible insults on national and religious grounds, threats and calls for the lynching of “traitorous” media representatives.
Given the fact that the Court of BiH refused to ban Mulahusic from using his Facebook profiles during the investigation against him, justifying such a decision with “freedom of speech”, the Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association reminds the competent institutions that freedom of speech is not and cannot be absolute right, especially when it’s misused to the detriment of others and jeopardizes their personal safety! We remind that according to Article 10, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights, freedom of speech is subject to legitimate restrictions in order to prevent violations of fundamental human rights, dignity, safety of certain social groups and enable their protection due to their individual characteristics or common/group identity.
The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association calls on the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH to speed up the investigation in Mulahusić’s case and to make a prosecutorial decision in this case as soon as possible. In this case, we can not ignore the fact that this is a person who has a large number of followers on social networks and that the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH brings him in connection with terrorist activities, which raises additional concerns for the safety of journalists.
The fact that Mulahusic was recently photographed with some of BiH’s leading political officials is a scandalous act of political irresponsibility and indirectly giving legitimacy and support to his incitement and spreading hate speech against journalists and the media.
The Steering Committee of BH Journalists Association