ANNOUNCEMENT: While the Government of the RS invites on the public work of non-profit organizations, it itself works in secret

Although the work of the Government of Republic of Srpska should be transparent, open and accessible to the public in the decision-making process, this, as is factually confirmed these days, did not happen even when others – the media and civil society organizations – were called to work transparently and publicly.

Namely, on the basis of scanty information obtained by the media, the Government of the RS secretly determined the Draft Law on Special Register and Publicity of the Work of Non-Profit Organizations and referred it to the National Assembly of the RS for further adoption, violating the rules and procedures for passing laws.

It remains unclear:

  1. At which exact session was that proposal determined?
  2. Who attended the session?
  3. What are the conclusions?
  4. Why was everything done in secret?

We believe that it is unacceptable that such important decisions are made “under the veil of secrecy” and “overnight”.

Instead of secretly determining the Draft Law, the Government of RS, as well as all authorities, should work to create and strengthen freedom of speech and 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.

We remind you that many of the provisions of the Draft Law are discriminatory and dangerously encroach on the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of association, political and activist activity, which, in its opinion, was confirmed by the Venice Commission, as well as other international organizations and institutions.

Associations will remain correctors of the authorities, and we expect clear answers to questions regarding conflicting information about the session of the Government of the RS and the establishment of the Draft Law on Special Register and Publicity of the Work of Non-Profit Organizations.

The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly calls on the members of the National Assembly of RS to reject the Draft Law, voting against the law, which is not only the result of problematic secret procedures, but directly violates the basic human rights and freedoms of citizens in the Republic of Srpska and represents a serious obstacle on the way to the EU.


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