Federation CEST and BIRN BiH Sign Memorandum to Boost Education on Genocide Denial

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The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Center of Bosnia’s Federation entity signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on developing an educational programme on genocide denial and hate narratives.

Photo: BIRN

By Emina Dizdarevic

The aim of the Memorandum of Cooperation is to exchange information on improving the education system in the prosecution of hate crimes, improve the transparency of the judiciary, as well as advocate the efficiency and increased integrity of judicial institutions holders.

“The Memorandum of Cooperation is important for preventing genocide denial and hate narratives in the public space, which is unfortunately a growing phenomenon. There is a need to improve the prosecution of such crimes as well as a need for trainings and education,” said director of BIRN BiH, Denis Dzidic.

Mutual cooperation between BIRN BiH and the Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Center of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CEST FBiH, will be based on transparency, cooperation and joint actions, as well as on independence and autonomy.

“The Center will help with creating educational programmes and will lend support in research into hate crimes. It is necessary to provide education and have regular communication with agencies, as well as to grant greater rights to injured parties. Those crimes must be given priority in prosecution,” said Federation CEST director Arben Murtezic.

The signed Memorandum resulted from a panel on prosecution of hate crimes, held in February, which concluded that there was a need for a continuous education of police, judges and prosecutors for a more efficient prosecution of those crimes.

At the time, during the course of a project titled “Mapping of Hate”, two policy papers were presented, “Hate Crimes: Much Damage, Little Punishment”, by Murtezic, and “In a Vicious Circle: Hate Speech, Extremism and Extent of Responsibility of the Judiciary”, by criminologist Mirza Buljubasic.

Presenting “Hate Crimes: Much Damage, Little Punishment”, Murtezic pointed to dangers of those crimes to individuals and society, offering a series of recommendations for improvements.

Those included regular communication between law enforcement and other state institutions with concerned organisations in the community, nongovernmental organisations and religious institutions with regard to those crimes.

The Memorandum of Cooperation arose from activities carried out within the project “Mapping of Hate”, which CEST FBiH recognized.