Hague Court Urged to Probe Journalists’ Deaths in Kosovo

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BRUSSELS, 07.06.2018. – The European Federation of Journalists adopted a resolution urging a new Hague-based court to investigate killings and disappearences of ethnic Albanian and Serb journalists connected to the Kosovo conflict.

The European Federation of Journalists, EFJ adopted a resolution jointly proposed by Serbian and Kosovo journalists’ associations on Thursday calling for an investigation into the murders and kidnappings of 14 journalists between 1998 and 2005.

The resolution, passed at the annual EFJ meeting in Lisbon, says that the crimes against journalists and media workers should be under the jurisdiction of the new Hague-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers which will issue indictments for wartime and post-war crimes.

It also says that the Serbia and Kosovo’s prosecutions should cooperate in solving those cases.

Pristina is also called upon to form a commission made up of journalists to investigate the murders and kidnappings of media professionals from 1998 to 2005.

A similar watchdog commission already exists in Serbia with the goal of putting pressure on the authorities to solve the murders of journalists, such as the 1999 killing of opposition newspaper editor Slavko Curuvija.

The EFJ also called for the UN and the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, to implement the decisions of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, which called for these cases to be solved and victims’ families compensated.

The resolution, which was passed unanimously, was proposed by the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo, the Journalists’ and Independent Journalists’ Associations of Serbia, and the Union of Journalists of Serbia.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, recently affirmed its support for renewed efforts to uncover the truth behind the murders and disappearances of Serbian and ethnic Albanian journalists connected to the 1999 war.

OSCE ambassador to Kosovo Jan Braathu told media that his organisation has identified 15 cases of missing or killed journalists in Kosovo – approximately half of them Serbs and half of them ethnic Albanians.


Balkan Insight, BIRN, Filip Rudic, Brussels, 07/06/2018