SARAJEVO, 31.10.2019. – By the end of October 2019, the Free Media Help Line (FMHL), which operates within the BH Journalists Association, registered a total of 48 cases of violations of journalistic rights and media freedoms.
As it was pointed out during the seventh regular session of the Steering Committee of BH Journalists held in Sarajevo today, out of the total number of registered cases, there were four court verdicts with a positive outcome for journalists and the same number of cases with a negative outcome.
– The number of attacks on journalists from January to the end of October this year is increasing compared to the same period last year. This is of particular concern given that last year was an election year, and these are the periods when FMHL usually registers the highest number of cases – said the Secretary General of the BH Journalists Association, Borka Rudic.
According to Sinisa Vukelic, President of the Club of Journalists of Banja Luka and a member of the Steering Committee of BH Journalists, the activities of the Free Media Help Line are extremely important support for the work of journalists from all over the country, especially in cases of attacks, lawsuits or any violations of their professional and labor rights. Through this line they can get free legal aid.
– The Free Media Help Line is a very concrete support for colleagues who can contact us in any situation when they feel they need it. I think this is especially important at a time when the number of attacks on journalists and violations of journalistic rights and freedoms, unfortunately, is constantly increasing – said Vukelic.
BH Journalists have initiated activities with partners to develop a unique methodology for monitoring and recording cases of attacks against journalists and other forms of violation of journalistic rights and media freedoms. The project also monitors 14 selected cases of the trials involving journalists, where lawyers of the FMHL monitor, among other things, the professional conduct of lawyers and judges in cases against journalists in accordance with the standards of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Defamation lawsuits continue to represent the largest number of lawsuits filed against journalists and media outlets in BiH. Paying lawyers’ fees and court proceedings, as well as damages when they lose a case, places a heavy financial burden on the media.
Therefore, the Steering Committee of BH Journalists invites journalists and other media professionals to use the Free Media Help Line tools, especially the free services of a network of lawyers working for the FMHL.
BHN, Sarajevo, 01/11/2019