Document - Bosnia and Herzegovina: BiH should allow individuals to petition the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

AI Index: EUR 63/008/2012

12 June 2012

BiH should allow individuals to petition the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Despite the positive achievement of the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (hereinafter: the Convention), the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have not recognized the crucial competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider individual and inter-state communications.

In a joint letter to the BiH government sent on 1 June 2012, Amnesty International, the Swiss Association against Impunity Trial and a group of local non-governmental organizations recommended the following measures so that it reaffirms its commitment to preventing and redressing enforced disappearance:

Recognize without delay the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider individual and inter-state communications; and to

Enact the necessary measures to adapt – not only in law but also in practise - the domestic legal framework in the fields of criminal, civil and family law to the numerous obligations undertaken by ratifying the Convention, including among others by codifying enforced disappearance as a separate and autonomous crime under domestic criminal legislation.

The organizations noted that the ratification of the Convention by BiH represented a significant step forward and a clear signal to the international community of the genuine commitment of the State in the struggle against this heinous crime.

Valuing the ratification of the Convention by BiH, the organisations also noted that they look forward to acts that show the continuing determination of the BiH government to eradicate enforced disappearances.

Background:

On 30 March 2012, BiH ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, thus becoming the 32nd State Party to the Treaty. Amnesty International calls on all states, when ratifying the Convention to recognize the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider individual and inter-state communications pursuant to Articles 31 and 32.

Amnesty International, TRIAL (Swiss Association against Impunity) and victims’ groups based in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), welcome the recent ratification by BiH to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and suggest further steps to ensure its effective implementation at the domestic level.

The letter was co-signed by the following organisations:

Amnesty International

Association of Families of Killed and Missing Defenders of the Homeland War from Bugojno Municipality

Association of Relatives of Missing Persons from Hadžići Municipality

Association of Relatives of Missing Persons from Ilijaš Municipality

Association of Relatives of Missing Persons from Kalinovik (“Istina-Kalinovik ‘92”)

Association of Relatives of Missing Persons of the Sarajevo-Romanija Region

Association of Relatives of Missing Persons of the Vogošća Municipality

Association Women from Prijedor – Izvor

Association of Families of Fallen Soldiers and Missing Persons "Vrbanja, Kotor Varoš in Travnik

TRIAL -Swiss Association against Impunity

See also:

No impunity for enforced disappearances: Checklist for effective implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of all persons from enforced disappearance

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