Police treatments of journalists: Progress of repression

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Source/Author: Predrag Nikolić
Source/Photo: SMCG

PODGORICA, 28.12.2017 – Not only that there has been no results in investigations of attacks on journalists in Montenegro, as the EC recently noted, but journalists become more and more victims of police investigations.

After death threats and curses sent to journalist Vlado Otašević by Velizar Marković, the Prime Minister’s brother, his phone was seized with the explanation that it would be sent to the Forensic Center for expert analysis. The expert analysis lasts for three months.

“Even after three months I still do not know where is the phone, taken on September 14, by officers from Podgorica Security Center. Nobody has called me for months either from the police or from the prosecution office “, said for Weekly Monitor Vladimir Otašević.

He says that he is not surprised by the actions of the state authorities, taken up to date, in the case in which the Prime Minister’s brother should be prosecuted:” As if the responsible in the police and the prosecution compete who would more and better deceive the law to show the bosses how unscrupulous they are, thus opening themselves a way to promotion”. Otašević announced that he would address to the police this week with a request for the phone retrieve, requesting as well an explanation why they did not call him all this time to extract, in his presence, the recording of threats.

The Association of Professional Journalists and the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro warned that the investigating authorities thus endangered Otašević’s sources. The Council for Civilian Control of Police Operations concluded that police officers acted unlawfully and unprofessionally when Otašević was deprived of privacy and official data.

“This conclusion gives me space to take, in the future, other lawful actions to prevent such police action from impunity, otherwise it would encourage offenders with a badge to continue with illegal practices”.