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“The Right to Activism” Campaign has Started

The campaign “The Right to Activism” has started, which will be followed by messages: “Domestic traitor – fighter against violence”, “Domestic traitor – fighter for the environment”, “Domestic traitor – fighter for human rights”, “Domestic traitor – fighter against corruption” and similar and one of the most important goals of this campaign is to stop the further narrowing of the space for the work of citizens’ associations.

Also, the goal of this campaign, which is implemented by the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka, is to work on creating a better environment in which associations are recognized as credible actors in the protection of human rights, the fight against corruption and violence, and the promotion of democracy.

It can no longer be tolerated that associations and their representatives are labeled by the authorities as “agents of foreign influence”, that the space for work/action is reduced, especially by the authorities who have indebted the society through numerous foreign loans and other types of indebtedness and in a period when democratic and human rights are violated in many fields.

We remind you that on March 23, 2023, the Government of the RS adopted the Draft Law on the Special Register and Publicity of the Work of Non-Profit Organizations, which proposes the establishment of a special register of non-profit organizations that are wholly or partially financed by other states or international organizations, which represents an additional threat to free and unhindered work of citizens’ associations, and thus for the rule of law and the development of democracy in the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This draft aims to shot down critical voices coming from citizens’ associations and the media, which are registered as associations. In addition, some of the provisions of the draft law are discriminatory and dangerously encroach on the constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of association and political activity.

If they want to make retrograde lists then let it be “EVERYTHING ACCORDING TO THE LIST”, so that we can see how much funding our institutions really receive from foreign donors.

We say NO to such a restrictive law, which shots down activism and a critical attitude.

Associations will remain correctors of the government, and activists for the improvement of democracy and human rights, as well as fighters against corruption and violence.

We hope that the media and the public will recognize the importance of this campaign, and that we will continue to work together to promote rights, democracy and a better life for citizens.

More info: Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka

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