PRISTINA, 24.01.2020 Association of Journalists of Kosovo still has not receive any response from the Independent Media Commission (IMC) on questions and concerns raised days ago, along with media lawyer Flutura Kusari on the proposal of IMC to amend the Draft Code of Ethics for Audio and Audiovisual Media Service Providers in the Republic of Kosovo (Draft Code of Ethics) and Draft Regulation on the Protection of Children and Minors in Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (Draft Regulation).
Association of Journalists of Kosovo together with Ms. Kusari, has reviewed the Draft Code of Ethics and the Draft Regulation, and we consider that both documents contain sections that would violate the freedom of expression of journalists and media freedom.
In particular, we are concerned with the Draft Code of Ethics which reinstates the prohibition on reporting by the courts, as it existed with the old Code of Ethics of 2010. The 2016 Code of Ethics, which is still in force and drafted by international experts, had eliminated sections that prevented court reporting. The IMC has reinstated the prohibition on reporting by the courts. We also have concerns about some of the sections proposed in the Draft Regulation.
In order to understand these proposals, we sought clarification from the representatives of the Independent Media Commission on the following issues:
– What are the reasons that have driven the amendment of the Draft Code of Ethics and Draft Regulation?
– Has there been any legal analysis of the shortcomings of the Code of Ethics and Regulation in force which the IMC claims to address in the process of amendment? If so, share it with us.
– On what international standards was the IMC based when it proposed the prohibition of reporting by the courts?
– During the amendment, have they sought the expertise and support of any of the international institutions present in Kosovo and active in the field of media freedom?
Representatives of AJK and Ms. Kusari also requested to attend today’s IMC meeting, but through an electronic response, IMC representatives rejected the request. According to them, the planned meeting is a consultative meeting and given that the consultation meeting is not a regular meeting of the Commission, it is therefore not public.
We ask the IMC representatives not to approve the Draft Code of Ethics and the Draft Regulation because these legal changes will severely violate the freedom of expression of journalists and media freedom in Kosovo.
The Association of Journalists of Kosovo, Prishtina, 24/01/2020