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Amnesty International: Failure to Adopt New Legislation on Identification Numbers is an Attack on Citizens’ Basic Human Rights

Bochum- jmbgAmnesty International, an international organization dedicated to the protection of human rights, spoke on the occasion of the lack of legislation regarding the unique master citizen number in BIH, which caused tens of thousands of people to protest throughout BiH.

In the introductory part of the article published on the official website of this international organization, it states that the failure to adopt new legislation on the unique master citizen number is a ‘direct attack on the basic human rights of BiH citizens’.

“Amnesty International believes the delay in adopting a new law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), assigning personal identification numbers to the new born citizens of BiH constitutes an illegal attack on the country’s citizens’ basic human rights. Newborns are not able to obtain necessary documents, and in this way, BiH authorities are directly violating international rights treaties directly applicable in BIH’’, said Amnesty International.

The text explains that several basic human rights, among which is freedom of movement and right to a nationality have been directly violated.

“The consequences of these limitations might also have a detrimental impact on other basic rights such as the right to life (Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – ECHR) and the right to health (Article 12 of the International Covenant of Economical, Social and Cultural Rights – ICESCR), since the failure to produce adequate travel documents that result in a denial of medical treatment abroad. On 5 June, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted a temporary executive decision, valid for six months, which allows for the allocation of temporary identification numbers until a new law is passed. While the lapsed legislation has been on the agenda for a while, including the instruction from the Constitutional Court of BiH for the Parliament of BiH to act upon it, legislators have so far failed to agree on how to redraw the districts that determine the 13-digit identification number assigned to each citizen of BiH’’, said Amnesty International.

It added that all this led to peaceful anti-government demonstrations throughout the country, where the citizens demanded a long-term solution.

“Amnesty International is additionally concerned at reports that some of the peaceful demonstrators in Sarajevo might be currently under investigation under “anti-terrorism” legal provisions, as well as reports of the announcement that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic Srpska has called for the investigation and monitoring of individuals’ opinions and involvement in the protests through electronic social media and networks, which could have a chilling effect on the right to freedom of expression and assembly in the country, as enshrined in Article 19 of the ICCPR and Article 10 of the ECHR, of which BiH is a signatory’’, said Amnesty International.

Amnesty International calls on BIH authorities to, without delay, take the necessary measures to ensure the adequate protection of basic human rights of the citizens of BIH.

Amnesty International also implores all BiH authorities to take into account all international obligations that are based on the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly before bringing protestors in any connection with possible terrorism charges.

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