Bosnia likely to outlaw incitement to hate crimes against LGBT people


SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — The House of Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Thursday adopted a bill criminalizing incitement to hate crime inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The bill will now be submitted to the House of Peoples, and is expected to be put to the vote by September, and then signed into law by BiH’s president.

The draft bill amends Article 34 of BiH’s Criminal Law stating:

“Whoever publicly incites or makes publicly available pamphlets, photos, texts and other materials which advocates, urges or incites hatred, discrimination or violence directed by any person or group of persons because of their race, religion, national or ethnic origin, origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, health status or other personal property, through the press, radio, television, computer systems or networks, at a public gathering or in any other manner, shall be punished by imprisonment from three months to three years.”

The Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime of BiH has been working on the draft with lawmakers, as the current law is “too narrow,” according to a statement by the Coalition.

The Coalition said it was informed Thursday by the House of Representatives that amendment proposal had been adopted.

“This a great example of cooperation between BiH civil society organizations and political parties, where the parliament did recognize the expertise that is coming from BiH civil society organizations,” read the statement.

BiH is a federal republic, of which the Republic of Srpska and Brčko District has already introduced hate crime regulation in 2010.

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