Attacks on journalists must not go unpunished


PODGORICA, 11.10.2018. – Attack on journalist of “Vijesti” Olivera Lakic must not go unpunished. At the same time, this is an attack on all journalists, OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media Harlem Dezir said at the International Conference on Media Sustainability and Successful Models of Media Operations organized by the OSCE Mission in Montenegro.

“Those who committed the crime against journalists must be brought to justice,” said a representative of the OSCE.

Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković said that the entire security sector has a clear mandate to investigate to the end any threat to the safety of journalists, to seek perpetrators 24 hours a day, and that no such case should be archived without a concrete police, prosecutorial and judicial dismissal.
He pointed out the absolute unacceptability of threatening the personal safety of journalists, as a way of resolving any misunderstandings and disagreements, and said that the Government is decisively decided to provide personal security to journalists in Montenegro.
Markovic said that media freedom and the safety of journalists are not a precondition for Montenegro’s accession to the European Union, but that it is a moral and democratic obligation.

He also recalled that the Government, through the state model of assistance in previous years, intervened in the purchase of debt of commercial printed and electronic media from 2011 to 2013, in the amount of EUR 5.3 million. Also, due to unpaid obligations and the need to encourage the sustainability of the media scene, in 2017 the Government purchased commercial broadcasters’ debts to the Radio Broadcasting Center in the total amount of about EUR 1.6 million.

“We also worked on the legal plan. According to the Government’s Work Program Plan for 2018, the Draft Law on Media and the Amendments to the Law on National Public Broadcaster Radio Television of Montenegro, were drafted. The projects of these laws are the product of multiregional working groups compiled from media representatives, media associations, civil society, academic communities and representatives of state authorities. In the dialogue and expert discussion, the solutions are in line with high international standards and good practices in this area, “he added.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Dezir, said that media freedom is crucial for democracy. Desir said that, in addition to the political and legal framework, economic environment is important to support the sustainability of the media. He states that laws in the field of media are good in the Western Balkans, but their application is crucial. Dezir said that the Public Media Service is facing certain problems, but is important that it has political independence and economic sustainability.

RTCG/CDM, Podgorica, 11/10/2018