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Coalition “Equality”: European Court of Human Rights definitely confirmed constitutional discrimination of the “Others”

Alisa Karović

koalicijaCoalition “Equality” wants to express its deep concern regarding another judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in the case of Zorić v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to the unchanged constitutional system, which continues to discriminate citizens that don’t belong to the constituent peoples. This judgement is another proof for all responsible individuals and institutions that it is urgently needed to change the Constitution of BiH and other discriminating acts and laws.

The judgment in the case of Zornić v. BiH, apart from definitely confirming that there is a discrimination not only against national minorities, but also against everybody who do not want to ethnically and nationally declare themselfs nor declare themselves as members of constituent peoples, also it illustrates clear ECHR commitment to stop the practice of giving exclusive political rights to constituent peoples in BiH. The judgment is clearly pointing out that “the Court considers that the time has come for a political system which will provide every citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the right to stand for elections to the Presidency and the House of Peoples of BiH without discrimination based on ethnic affiliation and without granting special rights for constituent people to the exclusion of minorities or citizens of BiH”.

Considering that the implementation of the EHRC judgments is the only way for BiH to get to the EU, and that this is obviously clearly demonstrated standpoint of the most significant authority for the protection of human rights within the Council of Europe, it is clear that, if BiH wants to continue on its way to EU, the country will have to give up the current practice of exclusivity and inequality of its citizens. We also know that in the upcoming period the Court will rule on the case of Pilav v. BiH, and if the discrimination continues, we can expect other similar cases.

Approaching the elections, we urge all political parties in BiH to clearly demonstrate their commitment to the abolition of ethnic discrimination in BiH, both in their election programs, well as through institutional measures towards constitutional changes. We also call all potential voters to vote for parties that they believe with their work and policies have clearly shown that they want to eliminate the discrimination. We are confident that the upcoming elections will clearly show such a desire of a large number of citizens of BiH. We urge representatives of all legislative and executive institutions in BiH, both those in the current term, as well as those that will be formed after the upcoming elections, to adopt the principles of the European Court of Human Rights, and realize that the only way for this country to move forward is complete elimination of discrimination of the discrimination. And finally, we call representatives of the EU Delegation in BiH, the EUSR, the OHR, the Council of Europe, as well as other representatives of the international community, to stick to the principles of human rights and anti-discrimination and to stop the practice of participation in activities aimed at deepening discrimination by strengthening the rights of constituent peoples, instead of supporting in the very clear and unequivocal way the implementation of the EHRC judgment.

Koalicija JEDNAKOST/Coalition Equality: UG “Zašto ne”, Sarajevo; Građanski front Ostalih, Mostar; Omladinski pokret Revolt, Tuzla; Oštra nula, Banja Luka; Centar za građansku suradnju, Livno; Sarajevski otvoreni centar; ACIPS, Sarajevo; Inicijativa mladih za ljudska prava, Sarajevo; Centar za zastupanje građanskih interesa, Sarajevo; UNSA Geto, Banja Luka; Fondacija za kreativni razvoj, Sarajevo; Fondacija Ekipa, Sarajevo; Evropski istraživački centar, Sarajevo; Fondacija CURE, Sarajevo; OKC Abrašević, Mostar; UG Okvir, Sarajevo; Udruženje mladih Bosanaca i Hercegovaca u Norveškoj Stećak, Oslo; Centar za političke studije, Sarajevo; Udruženje KVART, Prijedor, Udruženje Romska suza, Srebrenica; Liga antifašista jugoistočne Evrope; Pokret za Evropsku kulturnu saradnju, Tuzla; UG Plamen nade, Živinice; Asocijacija studenata Pravnog fakulteta, Tuzla.