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Report of the Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, A/HRC/26/29/Add.1, 10 June 2014: Bosnia and Herzegovina

73. JAL 07/02/2014. Case no. BIH 1/2014. State reply: 17/04/2014.

Alleged violent disruption of the Queer Festival Merlinka in Sarajevo.


75. The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that, despite the alert given by the organizers two hours prior to the incident, the police failed to take adequate measures to prevent the violent disruption of the Queer Festival Merlinka. He urges the authorities to take all relevant measures to ensure that any individual, in particular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, can peacefully exercise their rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. He recommends that the Government put in place an enabling and safe environment allowing individuals to exercise their legitimate freedoms without undue hindrances. He notes that two individuals have been apprehended in relation to the abovementioned case. He calls on the authorities to bring all the perpetrators before justice and ensure that the victims are provided with full redress.

76. In this context, the Special Rapporteur refers to Human Rights Council resolution 24/5, and in particular operative paragraph 1 that “[r]eminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law”.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRAssembly-Communications and replies-2014-eng-fra-esp

Link to Special Rapporteur’s correspondence with the State: Correspondence-SR-BIH-1-2014-eng

Link to State’s reply: Correspondence-SR-BIH-reply-1-2014-eng