Toby Vogel:

Sloboda medija i integritet na Zapadnom Balkanu: Najnoviji razvoj u Bosni i Hercegovini

Dodatnu zabrinutost za medije i slobodu izražavanja uopće sada predstavlja zakon koji je 5. februara usvojila Nacionalna skupština RS. Zakon o javnom miru i redu izazvao je bojazan da bi vlasti u budućnosti mogle tražiti ograničenje slobode izražavanja online i na postovima kao što su Tweets ili Facebook. Zakon kriminalizira postavke društvenih medija koje uznemiruju javni red ili sadrže nedoličan, uvredljiv ili neprijatan sadržaj. Jedan zvaničnik u Delegaciji EU je objasnio da je, po preliminarnoj analizi Delegacije, glavni problem sa tim odredbama njihovo široko tumačenje, koje tužiteljima i sudijama daje skoro neograničenu moć da suzbiju online slobodu izražavanja.

05.08.2015.

Toby Vogel:

Media freedom and integrity in the Western Balkans: Recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina

An additional concern for the media and for freedom of expression more generally is a new law adopted by the RS National Assembly on 5 February. The Law on Public Peace and Order raised fears that the authorities might in the future seek to clamp down on online expression such as Tweets or Facebook posts. The law criminalises social media postings that disturb public order or contain indecent, offensive or insulting content. An official at the EU Delegation explained that in the Delegation’s preliminary analysis, the main problem with these provisions was their sweeping character, which hands prosecutors and judges almost unlimited power to clamp down on online expression.

05.08.2015.

BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA

Možda se najzastrašujući incident koji se tiče slobode medija u Bosni i Hercegovini posljednjih godina desio krajem decembra 2014, kad je policija upala u prostorije Intersofta, vlasnika Klix.ba, popularnog web portala. Djelujući po nalogu Općinskog suda u Sarajevu, nadležni su tražili originalni snimak razgovora koji je Klix objavio u novembru a koji je doveo do političkog skandala u Republici Srpskoj (RS), jednom od dva entiteta na koje je zemlja podijeljena.

U tom snimku, izgleda da premijerka RS Željka Cvijanović govori o mitu koji je plaćen dvojici opozicionih parlamentaraca u zamjenu za njihovu podršku vladi koju je u tom periodu formirao vladajući Savez nezavisnih socijaldemokrata (SNSD) predsjednika RS Milorada Dodika.

Dodik i njegovi politički saveznici sumnjali su u autentičnost snimka pa su tužitelji RS-a pozvali urednike portala u Banjaluku, glavni grad RS-a, na ispitivanje. Izgledalo je da ih prije svega zanima da identificiraju izvor snimka.

Mjesec dana kasnije, 29. decembra, policija je provela neuobičajenu raciju u prostorijama Intersofta u Sarajevu. Policijski službenici koji su proveli raciju nisu bili samo iz kantonalne policije u Sarajevu, kao što bi se očekivalo u takvim okolnostima, nego i pripadnici policije RS-a. Ova neobična činjenica navela je Tihomira Lozu iz Transition Online da zaključi kako, po svemu sudeći, međuentitetska policijska saradnja odlično djeluje u Bosni i Hercegovini kad treba suzbiti slobodu medija (iako ne u mnogim drugim oblastima). Prema riječima novinara koji su bili prisutni u vrijeme racije, policija je zaplijenila kompjutere, mobilne telefone i drugu opremu i neke od njih uništila.

Racija je bila toliko sporna da su vlasti u Federaciji bile prisiljene da razmotre odluku kojom je to bilo dozvoljeno. Četvrtog februara vlada Federacije je podržala izvještaje entitetskih ministara pravde i unutrašnjih poslova po kojima su racijom prekršena ustavna prava novinara. Takođe je rečeno da je racija bila “očito nezakonita”, dok je posebno istaknuto da je policija RS aktivno učestvovala u istrazi iako zakon samo dozvoljava da prisustvuju takvim operacijama.

U dugom prilogu o sve češćim napadima na novinare u Bosni i Hercegovini nedjeljnik Dani je u broju od 9. januara optužio sudstvo u zemlji zbog progona novinara umjesto da procesuiraju zločine o kojima oni pišu.

Vlada RS ima dugu istoriju sukoba sa nekim medijima, posebno privatnim televizijskim kanalom BN iz Bijeljine, zabranjujući im prisustvo na konferencijama za štampu i dostupnost javnim informacijama. Tako, na primjer, reporteri BN nisu bili u mogućnosti da dobiju akreditaciju za Dodikove konferencije za štampu. Takvo zastrašivanje ni u kom slučaju nije ograničeno na RS, iako malo više pluralistička politika Federacije stvara više prostora za slobodne medije.

Dodatnu zabrinutost za medije i slobodu izražavanja uopće sada predstavlja zakon koji je 5. februara usvojila Nacionalna skupština RS. Zakon o javnom miru i redu izazvao je bojazan da bi vlasti u budućnosti mogle tražiti ograničenje slobode izražavanja online i na postovima kao što su Tweets ili Facebook. Zakon kriminalizira postavke društvenih medija koje uznemiruju javni red ili sadrže nedoličan, uvredljiv ili neprijatan sadržaj. Jedan zvaničnik u Delegaciji EU je objasnio da je, po preliminarnoj analizi Delegacije, glavni problem sa tim odredbama njihovo široko tumačenje, koje tužiteljima i sudijama daje skoro neograničenu moć da suzbiju online slobodu izražavanja.

Na dan usvajanja zakona, delegacija EU u BiH izdala je saopćenje u kome stoji sljedeće: “Svaka odredba mora biti potrebna, jasno definirana i propisana po zakonu. Vjerujemo da definicije u zakonu RS o javnom redu ostaju nejasne i daju previše prostora za arbitražno implementiranje. Imajući ovo na umu pozivamo odgovorne vlasti da osiguraju jasnoću i proporcionalnost u zakonu i njegovom implementiranju.”

Dunja Mijatović, predstavnica za slobodu medija pri OSCE-u, takođe je osudila novi zakon koji je usvojen i pored njenih primjedbi. “Razočarana sam što su jednostavno ignorirani toliki lokalni i međunarodni zabrinuti glasovi”, izjavila je u saopćenju, dodavši da zakon “utire put legalnim restrikcijama u slobodi izražavanja online i slobodi medija”. “Uključivanjem društvenih medija u zakon, postoji opasnost da zvaničnici mogu tumačiti pogrešno definirane termine da sankcioniraju i ograniče slobodan tok informacija i slobodnog izražavanja online.” Po njenom mišljenju, legalne sankcije protiv online saopćenja opravdane su samo u slučajevima “direktnog poticanja na nasilje”. “Sloboda izražavanja online treba da bude ostavljena regulatornim tijelima da oni o tome vode računa.”

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA

Perhaps the most chilling incident concerning free media in Bosnia-Herzegovina in recent years occurred at the very end of December 2014, when police raided the offices of Intersoft, owners of Klix.ba, a popular web portal. Acting on a warrant from Sarajevo municipal court, the authorities were searching for the original recording of a conversation published by Klix in November that had caused a political scandal in the Republika Srpska (RS), one of the two entities into which the country is divided.

In the recording, Željka Cvijanović, the RS prime minister, appeared to be discussing bribes being paid to two opposition parliamentarians in exchange for their support of the government that was being formed at the time by the ruling Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) of RS President Milorad Dodik.

Dodik and his political allies cast doubt on the recording’s authenticity, and RS prosecutors summoned the portal’s editors to Banja Luka, the RS capital, for questioning. They seemed interested primarily in identifying the source of the recording.

The following month, on 29 December, police conducted a highly unusual raid on the Sarajevo offices of Intersoft. The officers carrying out the raid came not only from Sarajevo cantonal police, as would be expected in such circumstances, but also from the RS police. This curious fact prompted Tihomir Loza of Transitions Online to observe that inter-entity police co-operation seemed to work fine in Bosnia-Herzegovina when it came to suppressing media freedom (though not in many other areas). The police confiscated computers, mobile phones and other equipment and destroyed some of it, according to journalists who were present during the raid.

The raid was so controversial that the Federation authorities felt compelled to review the decision allowing it. On 4 February, the Federation government endorsed reports from the entity’s justice and interior ministries according to which the raid had violated the constitutional rights of the journalists involved. It also said that the raid had been “manifestly unlawful” and noted in particular that RS police officers actively participated in the search even though the law only allowed them to attend such operations.

In a long piece on the increasingly frequent attacks on journalists in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the newsweekly Dani on 9 January accused the country’s judiciary of prosecuting journalists instead of the crimes they report on.

The RS government has a long history of antagonistic relations with certain media, notably the private BN television channel from Bijeljina, barring it from attending news conferences and withholding public information from it. BN reporters have been unable to get accreditation for Dodik’s news conferences, for example. Such intimidation is by no means limited to RS, although the somewhat more pluralistic politics of the Federation create more space for free media there.

An additional concern for the media and for freedom of expression more generally is a new law adopted by the RS National Assembly on 5 February. The Law on Public Peace and Order raised fears that the authorities might in the future seek to clamp down on online expression such as Tweets or Facebook posts. The law criminalises social media postings that disturb public order or contain indecent, offensive or insulting content. An official at the EU Delegation explained that in the Delegation’s preliminary analysis, the main problem with these provisions was their sweeping character, which hands prosecutors and judges almost unlimited power to clamp down on online expression.

The day the new law was adopted, the EU Delegation to BiH issued a statement that read in part: “Any regulation must be necessary, clearly defined and prescribed by the respective legislation. We believe that the definitions in the RS law on public order remain vague and leave too much room for arbitrary implementation. Having this in mind we call upon the responsible authorities to ensure clarity and proportionality in legislation and its implementation.”

Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media, also condemned the new law, which had been adopted over her objections. “I am disappointed that so many local and international voices of concern were simply ignored,” she said in a statement, adding that the law “paves the way for legal restrictions to online free expression and free media”. “By including social media in the law, there is a danger that officials could interpret ill-defined terms to sanction and limit the free flow of information and free expression online.” In her view, legal sanctions against online statements are justified only in cases of “direct incitement to violence”. “Freedom of expression online should be left to self-regulatory bodies to deal with.”

Ovaj izvještaj fokusira se na tri zemlje u kojima je pitanje slobode medija najakutnije i u kojima se posljednjih mjeseci stanje pogoršalo: Bosna i Hercegovina, Makedonija i Srbija. A sve tri su u potpunoj demokratiji – demokratski sistemi bez vladavine prava. Makedonijom i Srbijom vladaju silnici koji zatežu stisak na institucije države iako pokazuju znake demokratije. Bosna i Hercegovina, zahvaljujući svom iskomadanom političkom ustrojstvu, nudi više prostora za slobodu izražavanja, ali tu je ta sloboda sve više uskraćena.

Ovo je važan uvid za vlade, međunarodne organizacije, savjetodavne skupine i strane donatore da traže jačanje slobodnih medija na Zapadnom Balkanu. U nesavršenom svijetu gdje je vladavina prava rutinski ugrožena uskim interesima, novi zakoni i odredbe su samo jedna dimenzija jačanja sloboda. Traži se duboki angažman politike zemlje da razumije i promijeni, kulturu gledanja na medije kao pijuna u visokim ulozima i kulturu nekažnjavanja onih koji su u vlasti.

This is an important insight for governments, international organisations, advocacy groups and foreign donors seeking to strengthen the free media in the Western Balkans. In an imperfect world where the rule of law is routinely challenged by entrenched interests, rewriting laws and regulations is but one dimension of strengthening freedom. A deep engagement with a country’s politics is required to understand, and change, a culture of viewing media as a pawn in a high-stakes game, and a culture of impunity for those in power.

This report focuses on the three countries where issues of media freedom appear most acute and where there has been the most pronounced deterioration in recent months: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia. All three are in complete democracies—democratic systems without the rule of law. Macedonia and Serbia are governed by strongmen who are tightening their grip on the institutions of the state while preserving the outward trappings of democracy. Bosnia-Herzegovina, thanks to its fragmented political set-up, provides more space for freedom of expression, but there, too, this freedom is increasingly being curtailed.

Toby Vogel je pisac o međunarodnim pitanjima sa sjedištem u Briselu. U periodu 2007-14. bio je član redakcije European Voice, a prethodno saradnik i urednik u Transitions Online u Sarajevu. Radio je za Open Society Institute, International Rescue Committee i United Nations Development Programme u Beču, Njujorku i na Balkanu. On je viši saradnik Democratization Policy Council (Vašington, D.C, i Berlin) a 2003.saradnik Andrew W. Mellon za pitanja sigurnosti i humanitarna pitanja na City University New York

Toby Vogel is a writer on international affairs based in Brussels. In 2007-14, he was a staff writer with European Voice, and previously an associate editor with Transitions Online based in Sarajevo. He has worked for the Open Society Institute, the International Rescue Committee and the United Nations Development Programme in Vienna, New York, and in the Balkans. He is a senior associate of the Democratization Policy Council (Washington, D.C., and Berlin) and a 2003 Andrew W. Mellon fellow in security and humanitarian affairs at City University New York.

Izvještaj je objavljen na European Fund for the Balkans web stranici (mart 2015.)

Prevod: Dijalog BiH2.0

This report was published on the European Fund for the Balkans website (March 2015).

Odgovornost za informacije i gledišta iznesena u ovom članku, isključivo leži na autorima i nužno ne odražavaju mišljenje urednika Dialogue - BiH2.0 – Dijalog, njegovog savjetodavnog odbora, Tufts univerziteta, partnera, pobornika i donatora.

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