Back Strengthening the protection of journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Neum 3 - 4 April 2024
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Strengthening the protection of journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are often used by the political and economic power holders as means of pressuring journalists.

This and other common threats against journalists and how to address them were among the issues discussed at the two-day workshop in Neum. The discussions and practical exercises were based on milestone cases of the European Court of Human Rights and local cases. Thirty-four journalists and lawyers from across Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the event. The team of trainers was composed of a judge, a prosecutor, a journalist, and a lawyer, which enabled the wide range of perspectives. 

The workshop resulted in a number of recommendations, including the need to continue reporting the cases of threats and violence against journalists, and raising awareness of the positive obligation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to protect the freedom of expression in line with the European standards. The anti SLAPP Recommendation of Council of Europe Rec CM (2024)2 was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 5 April 2024.

The action “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PROFREX)”, within which the training was organised, is implemented by the Division for Co-operation on Freedom of Expression of the Council of Europe, and is part of the joint European Union and the Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.