The High Representative Bosnia and Herzegovina imposed amendments on Friday to the country’s criminal code to ban the denial of genocide and the glorification of war criminals.
Valentin Inzko used his power to impose an amendment to outlaw the public denial, condoning, trivialization or justification of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes when it is done in a way that is “likely to incite to violence or hatred.”
Inzko, whose mandate will expire at the end of July, said in a message published on the website of the Office of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR), that the long-awaited “law on the punishment of genocide denial” will take effect temporarily until a vote in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina takes place.
It was stated that anyone who tries to deny, glorify, trivialize or justify genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have proven in international courts or the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be sentenced from six months to five years.
Those who incite hatred and violence against race, color, religion, national or social origin, nation, or ethnic group will be sentenced to three months to three years and anyone who distributes posters, flyers and brochures related to those crimes will be sentenced to at least three years in prison.
The law on the punishment of genocide denial also stipulates that those who reward, glorify, give privileges and give their names to the streets, squares, bridges, institutions, cities or neighborhoods of those convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, shall be sentenced to a minimum of three years.
The law will enter into force eight days after its publication on the OHR website or one day after publication in the Official Gazette.
It was established with the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
The Office of the High Representative oversees the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement on behalf of the international community.
Inzko, an Austrian diplomat, has been at his post since 2009.
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