THE PRESS COUNCIL IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
REALIZATION START OF THE CAMPAIGN “STOP! HATE SPEECH!”
“STOP! Hate Speech!”
Hate speech is not freedom of speech and is subject to criminal liability!
The Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the self-regulatory body for print and online media, in line with the official start of the election campaign for the 2014 General Elections, is announcing the realization of the campaign “STOP! Hate Speech!”. The goal of the campaign “STOP! Hate Speech!” is to react against hate speech, discriminatory and inciting rhetoric in internet portal visitor comments, as well as to educate web portal visitors that hate speech and inciting rhetoric are not freedom of speech, and thus they are subject to criminal liability, in accordance with the criminal codes in BiH.
The team of monitors of the Press Council in BiH will monitor comment contents during the pre-election period in Bosnia and Herzegovina, posting the sign “STOP! Hate Speech!” in order to remind or inform portal visitors that hate speech is not freedom of speech, but its abuse, and that it shall be sanctioned under the criminal codes in BiH.
Web portal editors cannot be held liable for the contents of portal visitor comments, but it is editorial responsibility to remove comments that contain hate speech, discrimination, threats and incitement, and in extreme cases to cooperate with the police and prosecution on identifying the persons who abuse the freedom of speech.
The Press Council in BiH is the self-regulatory body that protects free and professional new coverage, providing citizens with the opportunity of submitting complaints and reacting when this professionalism is breached. Its free and independent work is the base for the development of free media, as well as for the protection of citizens’ human rights to accurate and current information.
Citizens may submit complaints, relating to hate speech, to the Press Council in BiH, through a single form, available at http://zalbe.vzs.ba/.
Further, web portal editors are free to post the sign “STOP! Hate Speech!” on their portals, as a warning informing their visitors that they do not wish for their portals’ professionalism to be breached, while encouraging the freedom of speech and constructive discussions through the comments on their portals.
The campaign is supported by the German Embassy in Sarajevo, the FES foundation and the NED organization.
The Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina
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