Human Rights Watch: Human rights progress faltering in the Balkans

Human Rights Watch: Human rights progress faltering in the Balkans

SARAJEVO, January 17 (FENA) – War crimes prosecution, ethnic tensions the key problems in the field of human rights in the Balkans, Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2019 noted.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in its World Report 2019, published on Thursday, that Balkan countries made only modest progress last year in the field of human rights, citing lack of support for war crimes prosecution and various other issues, BIRN reports.

However, the global picture was mixed. “In some ways this is a dark time for human rights. Yet while the autocrats and rights abusers may capture the headlines, the defenders of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are also gaining strength,” HRW executive director, Kenneth Roth, wrote in an essay included in the report.

HRW’s World Report 2019 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from late 2017 through to November 2018.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has limited progress in 2018 towards addressing long-standing human rights problems, the report said.

War crimes cases are resolved at a slow rate, while a revised National War Crimes Processing Strategy has been waiting approval by the Council of Ministers, the government, since February 2018.

Members of national minorities remained ineligible to stand for the presidency in the 2018 general elections because of the failure to amend discriminatory provisions in the constitution.

Also, authorities did not provide even basic support to thousands of asylum seekers and migrants who arrived in 2018, the report said.

Journalists face threats and interference in their work, and although some cases were investigated by police and handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office, no one had been convicted for attacks on journalists at time of writing.