Sarajevo/Banja Luka, 18.10.2022. – The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association (BHJA) calls on the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina to respond urgently within its jurisdiction to the spread of religious and national hatred towards journalists in BiH by Jasmin Mulahusić and his followers on the social network Facebook.
In the last two days, Jasmin Mulahusić wrote on several occasions about members of the immediate family of Al Jazeera Balkans journalist Dalija Hasanbegović-Konaković, stating, among other, that her sister is “married to an Orthodox” and that she “left Islam”, that Dalija “graduated from the Catholic school center”, that her mother was married to a Croat, and the like. This is not the first time that Mulahusić has targeted the aforementioned journalist with the aim of inciting national and religious hatred, and this is solely due to the fact that Dalija Hasanbegović-Konaković is the wife of politician Elmedin Konaković, the president of the Narod i Pravda party.
Inciting rhetoric and spreading hatred towards Dalija Hasanbegović-Konaković and her family members is a criminal offense, as well as impermissible interference in her personal and family life, including her family members who are not public figures and whose privacy is protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms.
We remind that a year ago, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted an investigation against Jasmin Mulahusić for the criminal offense of inciting national, racial and religious hatred, discord and intolerance. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t have any new information about the progress of this investigation, while Mulahusić continues to publish inflammatory posts on Facebook directed against numerous journalists, editors and media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each of those posts has dozens of comments by Mulahusić’s followers, in which hate speech against journalists is further spread, along with the insults on national and religious grounds, threats and calls to lynch media representatives.
The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association especially emphasizes the lack of reaction of the highest officials of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) to announcements made by Mulahusić, which can be interpreted as tacit approval and support of his views and incitement of hatred. Given the fact that Mulahusić doesn’t hide his connections with the highest leadership of the SDA and publishes photos about it on social networks, the least that the public in BiH expects is a public condemnation of all SDA sympathizers who, like Mulahusić, use hate speech or support national, racial and religious intolerance towards journalists, as well as towards any other individual or group.
Also, the Steering Committee of BH Journalists publicly demands from the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH to prioritize solving the “Mulahusić case” and inform the public of the current stage of the case. We emphasize that this is a person whom the Prosecutor’s Office linked to terrorist activities and who has a large number of followers on social networks, which additionally contributes to the spread of hateful content at an incredible speed. In such circumstances, the ineffectiveness of the investigation and the taking of legal measures against Jasmin Mulahusić who daily violates the fundamental human rights of journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina is unacceptable.