POLITICS

Reduced Genocide Denial in the Media after Inzko’s Decision

Examples of Srebrenica genocide denial have been reduced after Valentin Inzko ordered amendments to laws criminalizing the denial or glorification of genocide and war crimes, according tothe Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) analysis.

“There is a drastic difference when it comes to denial. We see that the negation was restrained mostly from Serbia,” said Edin Ikanovic from the Memorial Center.

The number of Twitter posts dropped from 70, as recorded onthe first day analyzed, to 4 such posts on Sunday, August 1st. The number of statements by officials denying or downplaying the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 has also been reduced.

Under amendments to the law imposed by Inzko, anyone who distributes leaflets, pictures, or other materials that incite hatred or deny genocide will be sentenced to at least one year in prison.

The day after Inzko published the amendments to the law, on Saturday, July 24th, BIRN BiH journalists recorded half the number of tweets denying genocide compared to the first day of monitoring – 36 of them. A large number of publications were written by the same users of this social network who denied genocide the day before. On Sunday, July 25th, the number of tweets continued to fall, so there were only 29 of them.

According to the verdicts of the courts in the region and The Hague, 48 people were sentenced to more than 700 years in prison and five life sentences for crimes in Srebrenica, proving that high-ranking Serb officials committed genocide against Bosniak civilians in Srebrenica.

Sunita Bosnjakovic from the organization forumZFD told BIRN BiH that the space in the media and on social networks was poisoned and that it is “space where it is very easy to deny and disclaim what is a court fact”.

But, Ikanovic from the Memorial Center believes it was illusory to expect the denial to stop automatically.

“There will be denials, but to what extent – we will see. We can see that those who denied now wrap it in a different statement from which it cannot be said that they directly deny genocide. However, we had the case of Dodik, his adviser Kovacevic, the president of the assembly in Bijeljina, and the deniers from Serbia who denied genocide before, ” Ikanovic stated.

During a press conference on July 30th in the building of the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska (RS), Dodik reiterated his position that “there was no genocide”, as reported by Al Jazeera and FTV. The Radio-Television of RS did not show that part of the conference with this statement in the evening news that day, according to the analysis of the Balkan Research Network of BiH, Klix.ba writes.

E.Dz.

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