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Dodik: Republika Srpska will legally arrange its public space


Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik has pointed out that Republika Srpska will definitely follow the existing European standards and best solutions while legally arranging its legal space, and the level of restrictions will not be higher than in the EU countries.

We publish a piece the Republika Srpska president wrote for the Republika Srpska News Agency – Srna, in its entirety.

Ever since Republika Srpska announced its intention to legally regulate its public socio-political and media space, in accordance with legitimate goals and valid international legal standards, a brutal campaign was launched by domestic and foreign self-righteous people.

This brutal campaign has been launched and continued in order to prevent Republika Srpska from protecting its internal sovereignty, its internal socio-political life and citizens from hate speech and fake news that have the capacity to create chaos in internal social life, bring unrest and create insecurity in every citizen of Republika Srpska.

These were the mechanisms various world power centers used to attempt to influence socio-political, economic and every other life in Republika Srpska, to make it meaningless and create distrust of citizens in the longevity and sustainability of Republika Srpska.

Namely, this strategy of theirs seeks to create conditions for centralization and conditions to rule Republika Srpska from outside, because if Srpska is not able to organize its own socio-political life, then it must be organized from some other center outside of it /in this case, Sarajevo and some foreign embassies that have their headquarters there/.

That is why there have been constant efforts for many years to create a black image of Republika Srpska among the citizens of Republika Srpska, based on lies, slander, deception and the like, all in order to discredit its institutions, its legitimately and legally elected representatives, and in order to present it as a completely disordered society which, as such, cannot exist independently.

Recognizing these intentions, Republika Srpska realized that the time had come to put an end to these weapons of special war against it. Yes, fake news and hate speech in the public space are just that in intelligence theory and practice, weapons of special warfare, which influence the social climate in a certain targeted social group.

By announcing the law criminalizing defamation, preventing the spread of fake news and hate speech, Republika Srpska actually only followed the existing European standards in this area, without infringing on any right or freedom of its citizens.

Out of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe, 36 European countries have criminalized defamation /with laws mostly stipulating not only fines but also prison sentences/. Almost all EU member states recognize defamation as a criminal offense and most of them have laws stipulating not only fines, but also prison sentences for it. Most US states also recognize defamation as a crime.

This was not enough of an argument not to brutally label and blame Republika Srpska for suppressing human rights in Republika Srpska by criminalizing defamation.

Even after Draft Amendments and Supplements to the Criminal Code were presented, in which slander and insults are only subject to fines and not imprisonment, this unfounded uproar against Republika Srpska did not stop. I guess, according to the opinions of these people, what is normal in the EU, when it is applied in an identical way in Republika Srpska, suddenly becomes abnormal, so what is not a suppression of freedoms in the EU, is considered a suppression of those freedoms in Republika Srpska.

A logical question arises, why is this so?! The reason is actually simple.

For those who want to influence the socio-political life of Republika Srpska from outside, to make it meaningless, that they, and not the citizens of Republika Srpska, determine who will be their representative or that they, and not the authorities of Republika Srpska, determine what is important for Republika Srpska, what kind of laws it will adopt and in which direction it will lead its policy, this is a serious obstacle to the process of making Republika Srpska meaningless.

This is an obstacle to waging a special war against it, an obstacle to attempts to rule Republika Srpska via a remote control from some power center, which is not from Republika Srpska and which is not elected by the citizens of the Republika Srpska and which has bad intentions towards Republika Srpska.

However, the statement and admission by Mr. Peter Stano, the EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, that most EU countries recognize and treat defamation as a criminal offense, and that, in this context, the criminalization of defamation does not deviate from European standards, is encouraging.

In these processes to legally regulate its public space, Republika Srpska will definitely follow the existing European standards and the best solutions, and the level of restrictions will not be higher than in the countries of the European Union.

When I announced on behalf of Republika Srpska that Republika Srpska would legally regulate its public space /according to the model of the American Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA, from 1938/, a response from the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ambassador Michael Murphy arrived promptly: “Dodik’s law on NGOs is diametrically opposed to the American one”, noting that it is an undemocratic law, even though Republika Srpska does not even have a draft law yet.

Therefore, the question arises, where does the American ambassador get the argument for such a claim? How does American Ambassador Murphy compare the American law with the law of Republika Srpska, which does not even exist in the form of a draft yet, but there is only an announcement that the American law will be copied?

If Ambassador Murphy has nothing to compare the American law with in Republika Srpska /which does not exist yet/, then the logical question is: Does American Ambassador to BiH Murphy actually claim that the American Foreign Agents Registration Act /FARA/ is undemocratic?

Perhaps the US State Department or the American public should be asked that question.

On the other hand, if the American law is a democratic law, why couldn’t Republika Srpska simply copy it?

These are two questions for the American ambassador that will probably remain unanswered, instead of which the American ambassador will throw out blanket claims at random in his already known manner of superficiality and tendentiousness towards Republika Srpska and its legitimate representatives elected by the citizens of Republika Srpska.

However, regardless of all these groundless attempts to prevent Republika Srpska from legally regulating its public and socio-political space /in accordance with legitimate goals, and within the framework of its own internal sovereignty/ /and from protecting itself/ from various foreign and domestic factors, Republika Srpska will remain persistent in pursuing its legitimate goals and will regulate this area in accordance with all relevant international standards.

Therefore, I invite all interested citizens and organizations, and especially the journalistic community, to get actively involved in the process of passing these laws through a public debate, where, we will try to find a balance together, in good faith, between the legitimate goals of Republika Srpska and all other relevant factors, all with the aim of adopting legal solutions that would be the best possible for society as a whole.


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