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SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), February 22 (SeeNews) – Despite Bosnia's adoption of progressive new anti-discrimination legislation, vulnerable minorities faced widespread discrimination throughout 2016, according to Amnesty International.
Bosnia's state-level government and the entity-level governments adopted amendments to laws on discrimination in 2016 but social exclusion and discrimination, in particular of Roma and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, remained widespread, the non-governmental organisation said in the 2016/2017 edition of its annual report The State of the World’s Human Rights published on Tuesday.
Bosnia also made no progress in implementing rulings brought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Amnesty said. In 2016, ICTY issued several verdicts in relation to crimes committed during the 1992-1995 conflict, but at the domestic level, access to justice and reparations for civilian victims of war remained limited, it added.
"Despite earlier commitments by the authorities, no progress has been made on the adoption of the law on protection of victims of torture and the harmonization of entity laws regulating the rights of civilian victims of war to enable their effective access to services, free legal aid and effective reparation", Amnesty said.
Bosnia fared poorly in terms of freedom of expression, the organisation reported. It found that a pattern of threats, political pressure and attacks against journalists in Bosnia continued in 2016.
"The country's Association of Journalists documented repeated attacks against journalists, attacks on freedom of expression and on the integrity of media outlets", it said.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of two entities, the Federation and the Serb Republic.