• Protests in cities across Bosnia and Herzegovina highlighted widespread frustration with political institutions and economic conditions. Police used excessive force against some protestors on the streets and in custody. The government failed repeatedly to implement a European Court of Human Rights decision mandating constitutional changes to end discriminatory restrictions on Jews and Roma holding political office. Roma remain subject to widespread discrimination. The prosecution of war crimes in local courts is hampered by inadequate capacity and funding. Two foreign nationals remain in indefinite detention without trial on national security grounds. Journalists remain vulnerable to threats and attack.

  • Jun 24, 2014
    Four months before general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, minorities are still denied the right to run for election, despite a 2009 European court ruling. Human rights organizations have now made submissions in a new case before the court to seek urgent constitutional reform and to press for equal political participation for minorities.
  • Feb 21, 2014
    Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should promptly investigate cases of excessive use of force by police against demonstrators on streets and in detention in Tuzla and Sarajevo between February 5 and 9, 2014. Authorities should also investigate police violence against several journalists and protect the right to peaceful assembly during protests.

Reports

  • Discrimination against Roma, Jews, and Other National Minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Lessons of International Support for Trials before the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bringing Justice for War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Cantonal and District Courts

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Jun 24, 2014
    Four months before general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, minorities are still denied the right to run for election, despite a 2009 European court ruling. Human rights organizations have now made submissions in a new case before the court to seek urgent constitutional reform and to press for equal political participation for minorities.
  • Feb 21, 2014
    Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should promptly investigate cases of excessive use of force by police against demonstrators on streets and in detention in Tuzla and Sarajevo between February 5 and 9, 2014. Authorities should also investigate police violence against several journalists and protect the right to peaceful assembly during protests.
  • Feb 5, 2014
    Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should publicly condemn an attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists during an LGBT cultural event in Sarajevo on February 1, 2014. The authorities should bring the attackers to justice and make certain that LGBT activists get the protection they need.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    Governments in the Western Balkans did little during 2013 to address longstanding human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Jul 9, 2013
    By most measures, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is the gold standard for international justice.
  • Apr 10, 2013

    A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible purpose is to take "a closer look at the long-term impact of international criminal justice, in particular as it relates to reconciliation..." it is unlikely much thoughtful discussion will occur. 

  • Jan 31, 2013
    Human rights protection in the Western Balkans fails to match the region’s aspirations for European integration, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. Human Rights Watch documented human rights concerns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo during 2012.
  • Nov 21, 2012
    On November 21, 1995, the EU and US brokered the Dayton peace agreement, putting an end to the three-and-a-half-year bloody war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The agreement failed to tackle the division that the war had wrought, though, instead establishing a loose federation along ethnic lines. The hope was that in time, as wounds healed, and with the political, military and economic support of the US and EU, a country that fully respected equality and other human rights would emerge.
  • Oct 29, 2012
    United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton should emphasize the importance of improving human rights records in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Serbia and Kosovo during their Western Balkan tour.
  • May 16, 2012
    Continued detention of Imad Al Husin - who has never been charged with a crime - shows Bosnia has taken steps in the wrong direction when it comes to balancing human rights against national security issues.