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13 July 2013
News

More than 2.300 Signatures against Censorship

Erna Mackic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
More than 2,300 people have signed a petition aimed at stopping the current practice of withholding information from trials for war crimes and other trials in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
These signatures have been collected under the campaign “Stop censorship about war crimes” in Sarajevo, which was started by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network on June 26.

The Bosnian BIRN office has organised public signings of the petition three times and these activities will continue every Saturday and Wednesday.

Besides the signatures, around 700 citizens have supported the campaign on the Facebook page “Stop censorship about war crimes.”

Citizens can also voice their opinion about this issue and support the campaign through the 033 911 555 phone number or the questionnaire on the Facebook page.

Through collecting signatures, BIRN wishes to prove there is a significant public interest and that citizens do not support the withholding of information about the identities of indicted persons and the recordings of hearings.

The openness of judicial institutions toward the public in the past few years has been diminished after the Bosnian prosecution decided to remove indictments from the public. The Bosnian Court adopted a rulebook which replaces the names of offenders, cities and institutions with initials.

Furthermore audio and video recordings from trials are still issued but are just ten minutes in duration.

In these circumstances the media is unable to objectively, fully and precisely inform the public about war crimes, organised crime, terrorism and other criminal matters.
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