Rights court rules against Bosnia

European judges say constitution should not bar certain groups from standing for election.

    The constitution was an annex to the Dayton Peace accord that ended the Bosnia War [GALLO/GETTY]

    Peace accord

    The Bosnian constitution was an annex to the Dayton Peace accord that ended the 1992-95 conflict in Bosnia, splitting the territory into two entities, the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation linked by a three-part presidency.

    The provisions of the constitution had intended to prevent ethnic strife in the wake of the war.

    The court "acknowledged that this system, put in place at a time when a fragile ceasefire had been accepted by all parties to the inter-ethnic conflict that had deeply affected the country, pursued the legitimate aim of restoring peace".

    But it also noted that Bosnia had committed under an association agreement signed with the European Union in 2008 to bring its electoral rules into line with the European convention on human rights.

    It said the current constitution violated the provisions of the convention which prohibits discrimination and upholds the right to free elections.

    Bosnia was ordered to pay $28,500 to Finci and $1,500 to Dervo Sejdic, the other plaintiff in the case, in costs and expenses.

    In a statement, Minority Rights Group International, a non-governmental rights organisation that assisted Finci, said: "The court's decision is binding on the Bosnian government and is likely to require a constitutional change granting equal rights to political participation for members of smaller minorities."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.