Publishing of lists of names of persons who did not respect self-isolation measures by a significant number of media in Bosnia and Herzegovina has caused a rise in hate speech and calls for violence on numerous online portals. Civil society organizations advocating for human rights in BiH are urging all citizens to refrain from commenting that can provoke violence against individuals who have not respected the measures imposed on them.
We also appeal to all media to block inappropriate content contained in the comments of articles that constitute hate speech and call for hate crimes against persons in self-isolation.
The job of supervising of those who have been ordered self-isolation measures and punishing them is in the mandate of competent institutions. We hereby invite them to do their work as it is prescribed by the law, according to which they have to punish irresponsible individuals. Encouraging and inciting hatred, violence and lynching will not lead to improvement of the current situation.
The names of all persons who were ordered self-isolation measures in the Canton 10 have been published, and civil society organizations have already pointed out to the possible consequences and called on the responsible institutions to be responsible for publishing such information.
We urge citizens to remain calm, to refrain from inciting hate and violence, as spreading hatred and invoking violence is not a way to contribute to resolving the current situation.
Sarajevo, March 24, 2020
Association for Democratic Initiatives
Civil Rights Defenders
Network for Building Peace
Sarajevo Open Centre
Transparency International BiH