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Bosnian Sentenced for Threatening BIRN Journalists on Facebook

Municipal Court in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: BIRN.

Bosnian court gives Nefail Cehic a suspended three-month prison sentence for threatening BIRN journalists on Facebook.

The Municipal Court in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on Friday gave Nefail Cehic a suspended three-month prison sentence for “endangering the security” of BIRN journalists in Bosnia. 

The indictment stated that Cehic was fully aware that his actions endangered the safety of, and caused distress to employees of BIRN BiH, when he made a serious threat to their lives on August 7, 2020.

He sent a message from his Facebook profile “Ljepota prirode” to the Facebook profile “Detektor” of the Bosnian branch of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Sarajevo, containing a serious threat.

Cehic’s message came after BIRN published an analysis and the 116th episode of the “TV Justice” magazine entitled “Can Former ISIS Fighters in BiH Be Prosecuted for War Crimes?” 

The episode discussed the possibility of prosecuting returnees from the Syrian battlefields not only for terrorism but also for war crimes, following the practice of some European countries that have increased penalties for joining the terrorist organization known as Islamic State, IS.

The accused insulted and verbally abused BIRN BiH journalists, stating, among other things: “All of you should be dealt with swiftly.” Prosecutors stated in their indictment that this caused a feeling of personal threat and distress among employees of the newsroom.

His sentence will not be executed if the defendant does not commit another criminal offence within one year of the verdict.

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