United Nations


Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Distr.: General

10 November 2010

Original: English

Committee against Torture

Forty-fifth session

Summary record of the 962nd meeting

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Friday, 5 November 2010, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson:Mr. Grossman


Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention

Second to fifth periodic reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention (continued)

Second to fifth periodic reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina (continued) (CAT/C/BIH/2-5; CAT/C/BIH/Q/2)

At the invitation of the Chairperson, the members of the delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina took places at the Committee table.

Ms. Djuderija (Bosnia and Herzegovina), referring to the questions raised at the previous meeting concerning the Ombudsman, said that unification of the various institutions from which the Ombudsman’s Office would be derived had begun on 1 May 2009 and been completed in October 2010. The Ombudsman would play a very important role in monitoring prisons and detention centres; a newly-formed department would focus on prisoners’ rights. The Ombudsman’s Office would submit a report on its activities in December 2010.

The Ombudsman would also be responsible for compiling a list of experts who would monitor conditions in institutions where persons were deprived of liberty, including those accommodating children, older persons and asylum-seekers. The Ombudsman had set up a new database to assist in case management. The data, which could be made available to members of the Committee upon request, could be disaggregated according to the type of violation and the detention unit where it had occurred.

In 2009 and 2010, the Government had developed a Strategy for Transitional Justice, which would be implemented in partnership with UNDP. The aim of the Strategy was to build capacity and to establish a permanent solution for all victims of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The strategy would focus on institutional reform, building the capacities of the courts and institutions that dealt with the rights of war victims. It would also ensure proper compensation for victims and the construction of memorials such as the Srebrenica-Potočari memorial and cemetery. A balanced approach would be required in order to find adequate solutions to continuing ethnic problems in the country. There was a need for truth-seeking mechanisms, such as the Srebrenica Commission, that would establish the facts and ensure that victims could speak of wartime events in an impartial setting.

Women victims of war had experienced various problems in recent years in seeking to exercise their rights. They were covered under laws for the protection of civilian victims of war in each of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republika Srpska). Each woman victim of war was entitled to social benefits that averaged approximately 70 per cent of those paid to war veterans. The Government planned to work in areas where there were large numbers of women victims in order to improve their situation. It would be challenging to find solutions that would adequately address the concerns of all women victims and to agree on appropriate solutions at entity level, since it was the entities that had responsibility for social and health care.

Approximately 70 per cent of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been found. As time passed, it became increasingly difficult to exhume bodies. Nevertheless, the Missing Persons Institute continued to make progress each year in finding missing persons and identifying them in cooperation with the families. The implementation of legislation on missing persons, which included the provision of a fund for the families of those persons, had been hampered by lack of funds and the slow pace of political cooperation between the entities and the State. Until harmonization of legislation was complete, families would receive varying levels of financial support depending on their location. The Government shared the frustrations of the families on the length of time taken in locating missing persons. Nevertheless significant progress had been made over the previous 15 years with the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons and the ICRC.

A bill relating to the rights of torture victims and civil victims of war that was fully compliant with international standards had been prepared with the assistance of NGOs. Once it was enacted, compensation requests from victims and their families would be examined by a compensation committee that would be appointed by parliament, thereby streamlining what had been a lengthy process. The new arrangements had yet to be approved by the newly-elected State and entity parliaments.

Judgements of the Constitutional Court relating to complaints by the families of missing persons would also be enforced. The Missing Persons Institute planned to establish a compensation fund and to complete an integrated missing persons database through which the identities of all missing persons could be verified.

Of the six Bosnian citizens of Algerian origin held at Guantánamo, five had been released. It was the understanding of the Bosnian authorities that a court case concerning the sixth prisoner was pending. Some of the former prisoners and their families had received social support on their return to Bosnia. The delegation would be pleased to provide further information concerning the prisoners at the Committee’s request.

Mr. Mujkanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), responding to questions about the judicial system, said that a report of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina indicated that, in 2009, there had been some 36,000 criminal cases pending or under investigation in the State party. The number of cases did not appear excessive given the number of courts and prosecutors available; the right to a fair and expeditious trial would not be compromised.

In 2002, Bosnia and Herzegovina had adopted a strategy for processing war crimes cases. The most difficult cases would be prosecuted within 7 years while the less complex cases would be completed within 15 years. A database concerning all war crimes cases was to be established and maintained by the State Court and the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The exact number of war crimes cases would be known by the end of the year.

Bosnia and Herzegovina had no outstanding obligations, including extradition obligations, vis-à-vis the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“the Hague Tribunal”). Following the abolition of the “Rules of the Road” unit at the Hague Tribunal, the national judiciary used its own criteria to determine where war crimes cases would be heard.

Concerning violations of prisoners’ rights, national legislation made no distinction between remand prisoners and convicted prisoners. Criminal proceedings were mandatory in all cases where there was a reasonable suspicion that a criminal offence had been committed against a prisoner of any type. Personnel working in prisons had the obligation to report such offences. The Prosecutor’s Office was able to provide witness protection, although physical protection was more advanced at State level than at entity level. A limited number of courts could protect the identities of witnesses through voice or image distortion when they gave evidence.

The International Police Task Force had supervised reform of the police service in order to prevent discrimination against plaintiffs from ethnic-minority groups. Following reforms undertaken in 2003, it was the responsibility of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council to ensure that the ethnic background of all judges and prosecutors throughout the country corresponded to the ethnic breakdown of the 1991 (pre-war) census; by 2009, that objective had been achieved in each entity.

The rights of persons deprived of their liberty were fully guaranteed under the legislation governing criminal proceedings. All persons deprived of liberty were informed promptly in a language they understood of the reason for their detention and of their right not to make a statement, to appoint a legal counsel of their choosing and to contact their family or the consulate of the country of which they were a national. A counsel would be appointed for any person unable to pay for their own defence.

It was forbidden to place any witness under duress in order to extract information. Evidence obtained unlawfully could not be used in court proceedings. National legislation prescribed that persons deprived of liberty could not be held for longer than 24 hours before being brought before a prosecutor or a court.

Under current legislation, the use or threat of use of force was an element taken into consideration in determining the crime of rape. The law would have to be reformed in order to make the absence of consent the basis for determining that crime.

Audio or video recording of the interrogation of all suspects was mandatory. Witness statements could also be recorded. Video recordings could be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.

There was full cooperation between all the prosecutors’ offices at State and entity level. National legislation made cooperation between the courts and prosecutors’ offices mandatory throughout the country.

Mr. Sain (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that he would reply to questions about the capacity of prison and detention facilities in the Republika Srpska. The number of convicted prisoners had increased in recent years by 20 per cent. There were now 1,050 convicted prisoners and 220 remand prisoners. In 2007, the Ministry of Justice had decided to open new facilities in order to accommodate the increase. As a result, the overall capacity had increased to 1,330 places for convicted prisoners and 280 for remand prisoners. The capacity for solitary confinement and medical facilities had increased by 130 per cent. In the past, between 5 and 10 prisoners had sometimes shared a single cell, which had offered some protection against torture or ill-treatment but violated the prisoners’ right to privacy. As a result of the building and reconstruction work undertaken during the past three years, one cell now normally accommodated just two convicted persons. New legislation provided for six high-security prisons and three medium-security prisons. There were also wings that applied a special regime for prisoners whose conduct endangered other prisoners. Eight additional cells accommodating two persons each had been built in the regular wing of Foča prison, bringing its total capacity to 57 prisoners. Ten new cells, accommodating 20 prisoners had been built in the maximum-security wing. The capacity of the prisons in Banja Luka, Doboj and Sarajevo was also being increased, and a new facility was under construction in Bijeljina.

The ratio of prison staff to prisoners was 1 to 1.5. On 31 December 2009, total prison staff in the Republika Srpska numbered 758, of whom 75 per cent were warders, 10 per cent correctional officers, 2 per cent medical staff and the remainder administrative staff. The Government had approved an increase of 77 staff members. Training courses were provided each year by a team of experts.

With regard to juvenile facilities, the prisons in Banja Luka and Sarajevo had special wings that could accommodate 20 minors each.

Mr. Duranović (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that, notwithstanding the global financial crisis, the Federal Government had appropriated 15 million marka (KM) in 2009 for prison facilities – KM 9 million for salaries and KM 6 million for other prison costs. As a result, 160 new prison officers were now employed in the federation. There had been an increase of 1,077 in the capacity of all categories of prisons. The Government had approved an appropriation of KM 2.1 million in 2009 and KM 3.1 million in 2010 for improvements in material working conditions. New equipment for video surveillance had been installed. Zenica prison included a maximum-security wing for high-risk convicts.

Acting in response to reports from the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Amnesty International and the Office of the State Ombudsman, the prison administration had taken action to reduce inter-prisoner violence. Zenica prison housed almost 800 convicted and remand prisoners, so that the risk of such violence was high. Effective control could be exercised over a prison population of only about 350. A detailed plan involving video surveillance had been drawn up to address the problem. He stressed, however, that the cameras were used only in places of assembly and that privacy was fully respected. The prison yard was divided into 10 areas so that recreation periods could be spent in smaller groups and in accordance with different daily timetables.

To remedy the acute shortage of prison staff, 80 new warders and 10 new prison development officers had been recruited since 2008. The Zenica prison psychiatric department had been moved to a refurbished building outside the prison and provided with equipment that complied with contemporary standards. The new building contained a dining room, a dispensary and a fully secured yard. The Ministry of Justice felt that detainees with psychiatric problems should be removed from the prison and had recently signed an agreement to relocate 22 patients to a new facility in Sokolac, which would be completed in 2011.

A juvenile facility had been established in Tuzla in 2009. Its current capacity was only 15, but funds had been secured for the construction of a new juvenile facility in Orašje.

He agreed that prison overcrowding was a problem and that the construction of new facilities should be complemented by greater reliance on alternatives to imprisonment. Provision had been made for electronic surveillance and the Parliamentary Assembly was currently discussing the possibility of using tagging devices. Community service had also been adopted as an alternative penalty in several parts of the country.

The criminal investigation of the official involved in the May 2007 incident in Zenica prison had been completed and he had received a 16-month suspended sentence. He had been permanently relocated to a post where he had no contact with prisoners.

Mr. Mirkonj (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that solitary confinement was a disciplinary measure applied to prisoners who presented a security risk or who breached prison rules. Disciplinary proceedings, which were comparable to criminal proceedings, were initiated by prison governors, who appointed a three-member commission to consider the file, take a statement from the prisoner and question witnesses. The prisoner was entitled to seek the assistance of a lawyer. If disciplinary sanctions were imposed, the prisoner could also file an appeal. When solitary confinement was imposed as a disciplinary sanction, certain rules had to be respected. The size of the cell must be at least 10 square metres and must be visited regularly by a correctional officer, a doctor and a warder. The prisoner was separated from other prisoners, but was allowed to spend two hours outdoors and to communicate by telephone or letter with his or her family. He stressed that the term “isolation” was not used to designate the penalty.

Convicted and remand prisoners underwent a medical examination on arriving at a detention centre and were entitled to all kinds of medical care and protection. Prison doctors were employees of the Ministry of Justice. To ensure impartiality, convicted prisoners requiring medical treatment were entitled by law to file a request for treatment in a local hospital or clinic. No such request had ever been denied by a governor. However, the prisoner was required to cover the cost of the medical examination if it was not recommended by the prison doctor.

Remand and convicted prisoners were entitled to communicate with their families, legal counsel, and any domestic organizations or international institutions that might provide them with legal assistance. The law required the prison to comply with requests for such contacts. Convicted prisoners could also request an interview with the governor and with inspectors appointed by the Ministry of Justice.

With regard to the Ombudsman’s recommendation to Banja Luka prison concerning the recruitment of medical staff, he said that a doctor had been recruited as a permanent staff member in 2005 and that the medical staff also included an assistant governor and two orderlies.

No prison official had been found guilty of torture. However, a prison employee had been found guilty of corruption. His employment had been terminated and he had been sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

Ms. Hodžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the maximum period of police custody was 24 hours.

Police officers were prohibited from obeying an order that was contrary to criminal law. They were required to report the matter to their supervisory officer and, if the order was repeated, they should submit a report to the professional standards unit, a new unit that had been established in all police departments. A harmonized police code of conduct was applicable at the federal level, in the Republika Srpska and in the 10 cantons.

There were also citizens’ complaints bureaux at all levels. The members of the three offices at the federal level and the five offices in the Republika Srpska were appointed by parliamentary committees, which took the gender dimension into account. The procedures were transparent and based on a public competition. Candidates were required to have relevant experience and no criminal record. Members of political parties were excluded for the sake of impartiality.

Mr. Krajišnik (Bosnia and Herzegovina), replying to a question concerning allegations of police violence, such as the use of baseball bats or similar objects in police stations against detainees, said that the country’s legislation and regulations, including those concerning police officers, had been harmonized at all levels. All police officers were required to report any inappropriate or illegal behaviour by their colleagues, as well as complaints by prisoners and members of the public. The complaints were recorded and transmitted within 24 hours to the competent professional standards unit, citizens’ complaints bureau or disciplinary prosecutor. If a complaint was warranted, disciplinary proceedings were instituted and if evidence of a criminal offence was found, criminal charges were brought against the suspect.

Since the submission of the periodic report, nine offences involving cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment had been prosecuted – three in 2009 and six in 2010. One offence had been a violation of human dignity involving abuse of the offender’s official status. It constituted a breach of article 359 of the Criminal Code. Another offence was a crime against humanity as defined by article 172 (1) of the Criminal Code. All the offenders had been dismissed from the Ministry of the Interior.

Provision had been made for periodic and extraordinary oversight measures. Periodic monitoring was undertaken every two years. Extraordinary action was taken whenever a senior police officer decided that an investigation should be conducted in a particular police station. Police premises were also searched for objects such as batons that might be used for cruel or degrading treatment.

Ms. Smajević (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that in response to a recommendation by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), two independent committees had been set up to monitor places of detention. One monitored prisons, cells in police stations and psychiatric institutions, while the other monitored residential institutions for victims of trafficking, asylum-seekers, illegal migrants, older persons, child victims of violence and other groups. Both committees had been established in January 2010 and were fully independent and multidisciplinary.

Her Government was currently collecting and analysing data to determine how best to structure the national preventive mechanism that it would soon set up. Once that process was completed, a final proposal would be submitted to the Council of Ministers. In accordance with article 24 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Government would not postpone the establishment of a national preventive mechanism for more than three years.

Persons with mental disabilities in specialized institutions had the right to protection from any form of abuse or inhuman or degrading treatment. The first of the aforementioned monitoring committees had already visited most institutions for persons with mental disabilities to inspect living conditions and social protection provided for patients. That committee’s conclusions and recommendations would be completed by December 2010 and would be considered and adopted by the Council of Ministers. Those recommendations would include proper training for staff of the institutions, yearly evaluations of the services provided, recruitment of more professional staff, financing for professional development and video surveillance.

Ms. Bašić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that while entity laws did provide for the criminal offence of extorting confessions, 90 per cent of which cases were covered by the definition of torture contained in the Convention and the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, her Government recognized that it still had an obligation to fully harmonize those laws in order to incorporate the Convention definition. Harmonization of domestic laws with international human rights mechanisms was a top priority for the Government. All agreements entered into by the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including the Convention against Torture, were applied throughout the country.

Her Government had concluded an agreement with Serbia and Croatia whereby, if a person with double nationality from two of the parties to the agreement was sanctioned for a criminal offence and then relocated to the other country where he or she had citizenship, then the sanction would be transferred to that State. Bills to regulate legal aid had twice been submitted to parliament, but both times they had been rejected, so the entities had then drafted their own laws. Brčko District had adopted a law establishing legal aid services in 2001 and the Republika Srpska had done so in 2009. In the Federation, five cantons had adopted such laws and the remaining cantons were expected to do so soon.

Mr. Rizvo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the principle of non-refoulement was established by the 2008 Movement and Stay of Aliens and Asylum Act, and there had been no major complaints from UNHCR or any other monitoring mechanism on the application of that principle. If non-refoulement protection for any foreign national was revoked, that person had recourse to a two-instance administrative procedure, and, if still unsatisfied, could apply for court protection or even protection from the Constitutional Court. In recent years, attention had been drawn to a small number of cases in which the Government had attempted to deport persons who had been unlawfully granted citizenship and who posed a threat to national security. None of those individuals had been deported as yet because their cases were still pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

While illegal migrants were detained, asylum-seekers were not. They were free to reside wherever they chose, and if they wanted State accommodation they were housed in the asylum-seekers’ centre, which was an open facility. Detention for illegal migrants could only be extended for one month at a time, at which point a review was conducted; each time, the individual had recourse to a two-instance administrative procedure.

Criminal legislation on trafficking had recently been fully harmonized with the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. He agreed that compensation procedures for victims of trafficking were long and complex, and few victims had been successful in seeking compensation through the courts. Free legal aid for trafficking victims was financed by the Government but was provided through Vaša Prava, an NGO with extensive experience that provided legal aid of the highest standard. Following the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, that particular attention be given to the root causes of trafficking in persons in the State party, the Government had adopted a five-year action plan focusing on measures to reduce poverty and unemployment and to deal with the issues of refugees and internally-displaced persons. Separate guidelines were in place to identify foreign and domestic victims of trafficking, and more comprehensive guidelines were currently being drafted to instruct professionals working with victims on how they should be treated.

Mr. Gallegos Chiriboga, First Country Rapporteur, said that he would like to receive the disaggregated data from the database established by the Ombudsman’s Office and the one to be established for victims of war crimes, as mentioned by the delegation. According to some NGOs, the families of missing persons felt abandoned by the Government, and he asked the delegation to comment on the procedures for obtaining a declaration of death for a missing person. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive definition of torture in both federal and entity laws. Political consensus between the Federal Government and the entities was a primary concern.

While he applauded the extensive legal framework in place to deal with the legacy of war crimes, he stressed the need for practical measures to try war crimes cases, rehabilitate offenders in adequate prisons, and protect and compensate victims, particularly rape victims. The definition of rape needed to be changed in the State party’s legislation. Impunity for war crimes was a major concern, and he asked how many sentenced perpetrators were still living freely side by side with their victims. He wished to know how many victims of war crimes were benefiting from the programmes in place to help them.

Mr. Wang Xuexian, Second Country Rapporteur, acknowledged that about 70 per cent of missing persons had been found, but noted that many were still missing and encouraged the Government to continue its efforts in that regard. He asked to be informed about the progress of the committee that would be set up to provide compensation to victims. Efforts should continue on the case of the Bosnian of Algerian origin still imprisoned in Guantánamo. Concerning the 7- to 15-year time frame for completion of war crimes cases, he wished to know from which starting date that period ran.

He wondered whether physical protection was provided for all witnesses or only those with special needs, and whether allegations of threats and harassment of witnesses had been investigated. He commended the State party for its efforts to improve prison conditions and reduce overcrowding. He wondered whether the Government planned to harmonize national and entity laws relating to the permissible length of solitary confinement. He encouraged the State party to continue its efforts to grant compensation to victims of trafficking in persons.

Ms. Belmir asked if victims were given comprehensive compensation that went beyond mere social benefits. She wondered whether the Government’s cooperation with the ICRC was at the same level as its cooperation with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and how fruitful it had been. Access to justice was a concern, as she understood that victims of war crimes had to go to the court in their place of origin in order to apply for compensation.

Mr. Mariño Menéndez said heunderstood that the most recent census of Bosnians had been conducted in 1991, before the conflict, and asked whether Bosnia and Herzegovina planned to conduct a new census to determine who its nationals were; doing so would be important in establishing jurisdiction over persons responsible for torture.

He wished to know whether individuals from minority groups who were not Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian were classified as citizens of the State party and whether they had political representation. It would be useful to know whether the State party planned to ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

Ms. Sveaass asked whether the parliamentary commission the State party planned to establish to provide compensation and harmonize the rights of war victims and torture victims would be responsible for receiving complaints or whether it would be an oversight mechanism. Would local committees be set up to enable people to register claims without having to travel? The Committee would welcome updated information on developments in establishing that commission when it became available.

She wished to know whether the State party would endeavour to strengthen the ongoing NGO work to support war victims, particularly as they were independent organizations and many of them were staffed by highly-skilled professionals. NGOs could provide vital psychosocial support to families during the distressing process of exhumation.

It would be interesting to learn whether the State party had statistics disaggregated by ethnicity in all areas, including data on crime.

She particularly welcomed the information the delegation had provided on efforts to monitor the rights of people with mental disabilities. She asked whether any specific measures had been taken to resolve the problems that had occurred on the Acute Ward of Sokolac Psychiatric Clinic.

The Chairperson asked the delegation to respond to NGO reports alleging that individuals had been subject to removal on national security grounds and subject to indefinite detention without charge on the basis of secret evidence to which they and their lawyers had not had access. In that context, the State party had also allegedly provided inadequate safeguards against refoulement. There had also been reports that detention was sometimes extended beyond 180 days without the required additional justification, that detainees had no access to legal aid, and that, in at least one case, a detainee had been returned to a country where he had been tortured. He asked the delegation to comment on those reports and to specify whether the State party lodged complaints when individuals it had sent to a country were tortured. What steps was the State party taking to ensure that such situations did not occur in future? How many people were detained in the emergency situation category and how many had been detained for over 180 days? The Committee would welcome details of the specific criteria used to establish a threat to national security, the role played by the courts in reaching that decision, and the possibility of appealing the decision. He asked whether the State party had a policy on accepting diplomatic assurances from foreign Governments that persons would not be tortured.

Ms. Djuderija (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that secret evidence had not been used to determine whether detainees had been granted citizenship on false grounds; in fact, the detainees in question had submitted incorrect information in their citizenship applications. Compensation had been paid to two individuals who had been detained indefinitely and been denied access to legal counsel.

Steps were being taken to merge the different databases in the country, and good progress had been made with the database on missing persons. Given that some 15 years had passed since the conflict, it was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain accurate information about the time and place of disappearance. While the frustration of the families of victims of disappearance was understandable, it was hard to give them any details. All information contained in the databases was communicated to the families.

Compensation claims were received by competent courts in the two entities and handled under a relatively simple procedure. However, the matter was complicated by the huge number of cases that had been filed and the need to establish a harmonized national scale of compensation.

The majority of the country’s 2,000 rape victims lived in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and had already been classified as civilian victims of war. The Government was trying to implement measures to improve their care, particularly the psychological assistance available to them, but was hindered by a lack of resources. Those measures formed part of the efforts to harmonize domestic legislation with the Convention, classifying those people as victims of torture during the conflict.

Mr. Mujkanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that domestic criminal legislation made no distinction between the sex of the victims in rape cases.

The start date for war crime cases to be completed had been the end of 2008.

Members of minority groups were full citizens and enjoyed the same rights as the main ethnic groups. Under the 1991 census, members of minorities were classified as “others”.

Detention pending investigation normally lasted a maximum of six months. In cases concerning crimes carrying a long-term sentence, that period could be extended to one year. Such extensions could only be granted by the courts and were subject to judicial review; all complaints about extensions were examined by a higher court.

Ms. Djuderija (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that, when the new Government came to power, there should be some constitutional amendments that would grant minority groups the right to political representation.

The Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees planned to set up a system for recording cases of discrimination, including cases under the Convention. The new electronic database of the Ombudsman’s Office should give the Committee automatic access to data disaggregated by type of case.

Ms. Hodžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that all citizens could file complaints against police officers and other personnel of the Ministry of the Interior. The procedures to be followed at all levels and in all administrative units were prescribed by law.

Ms. Djuderija (Bosnia and Herzegovina) assured the Committee of the importance attached to the Convention in her country and thanked the Committee for its constructive questions and advice.

The meeting rose at 1 p.m.