Shutdown of Bosnia broadcaster "neither solution nor option"

OSCE's representative on Freedom of the Media has repeated her urgent call on authorities in Bosnia regarding the country’s public broadcasting system.

Source: B92

This is what OSCE announced in a statement on its website, with Dunja Mijatovic's reaction coming after a decision by the Steering Board of the BiH Radio and Television (BHRT) to suspend all programs as of June 30.

The OSCE quoted the board as saying the move to to temporarily shut down its production and broadcasting was necessary "because of the lack of political will on the part of Bosnia-Herzegovina institutions regarding the implementation of public service broadcasting."

“Even a temporary shutdown impedes citizens’ right to receive crucial public information and should not be seen as the solution to financial difficulties. This situation can only be resolved by fully implementing the law," Mijatovic said, and added:

“I call on the authorities and the steering boards of the public broadcasters to act immediately to ensure the full implementation of relevant laws, and prevent a total shut down of BHRT."

The OSCE noted that during her official visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina in July last year, Mijatovic discussed the issue of editorial independence and financial sustainability of public service broadcasters, while she in 2013 commissioned a legal analysis of the laws relating to the public service broadcasting system, with the recommendations "remaining relevant and yet to be implemented."

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