Expression in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Due in large part to ethnic divisions within the nation, most media outlets have narrow audiences. As such, fragmented reporting of the news hinders a national narrative on current affairs, with many outlets openly aligned to political parties. Legal impediments to accessing government information undermine the strength and reliability of news reports. Journalists and media outlets face pressure and, in some circumstances, prosecution for being openly critical of the government. Nineteen journalists have been killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1992, increasing the likelihood of self-censorship within the media. There were at least 20 documented cases of threats and intimidation of media workers in 2015 alone, and in 2014 authorities raided the offices of the most popular Internet news website. Vague language in social media legislation in the Sprspka region criminalises “attempts to disturb the public peace”. Fines imposed for offensive or disruptive social media content have drawn international condemnation.