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Statement by the EU Heads of Missions on protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
EU Heads of Missions say taking part in protests is a right of citizens but protests must be held peacefully and lawfully.
Active participation by citizens is essential for a healthy democracy, whether in elections or other democratic actions, and is vital for the EU integration process.
Taking part in protests in a peaceful and lawful manner is a right of citizens. Protests must be held peacefully and we condemn violent acts. Violence, whether towards police, journalists, protestors, public or private property, is absolutely unacceptable.
We expect all BiH authorities to act with due respect for public and private freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly and all legal procedures pertaining to anybody who is detained.
In the current social, economic and political situation, open dialogue between citizens and authorities is of the highest importance. It is now vital that the leaders and politicians of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a first step, listen carefully to the concerns of all the citizens of this country. Therefore we look to BiH’s leaders and politicians, without exception, to engage in dialogue with citizens. Such dialogue must address how to strengthen the rule of law, boost the economy and improve overall quality of life and the prospects for young people. They must then address these concerns directly with credible, concrete action.
We strongly reject any and all attempts to exploit recent events to raise ethnic tensions, and we encourage the continuation of normal public life.