SafeJournalists and MFRR Condemn Two Decades of Impunity in Case of murder of Duško Jovanović

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    Mediji dnevni list dan Dusko Jovanovic

    On the 20th anniversary of the murder of Montenegrin journalist Duško Jovanović, the SafeJournalists Network and partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) call for stronger action from the authorities.

    Media freedom organizations jointly condemn the two decades of impunity in the case of the murder of journalist Duško Jovanović and urge the Montenegrin authorities, both political representatives and relevant bodies, to take all necessary measures to identify and bring the perpetrators and masterminds to justice.

    Duško Jovanović was the founder, director, and chief editor of the daily newspaper “Dan,” one of the first private newspapers in Montenegro. He was killed in front of his newspaper’s office on May 27, 2004. For this gravest crime in the history of Montenegrin journalism, only one accomplice has been convicted, who will soon be free as he has nearly served his multi-year prison sentence. 

    According to relevant domestic and international media organizations, the years-long investigation was conducted poorly and ineffectively, with numerous recorded oversights for which no one has been held accountable. Despite announcements from the highest Montenegrin officials in recent years that progress in the investigation could be expected, none has been made, or at least the public has not been informed. For this reason, we justifiably fear that this could remain one of the key unsolved cases, sending a devastating message about the media and socio-political landscape in Montenegro, that crimes against journalists are allowed to go unpunished. Therefore, it is essential that the state of Montenegro takes decisive steps towards justice as the family and colleagues of the late Jovanović, as well as the entire public, have been waiting too long.

    In addition to Jovanović’s murder, over the past two decades, more than 100 cases of attacks on journalists and media property have been recorded in Montenegro, many of which remain unresolved, with some even having reached the statute of limitations. Hence, more decisive action by Montenegrin state authorities is needed to ensure the safety of journalists and resolve these cases.

    We strongly urge the Montenegrin authorities to take immediate and concrete steps to address and resolve this most severe case in Montenegrin history. The time for action is now—swift and decisive measures are essential to ensure justice and restore public trust, and to show that crimes against journalists are not permitted.

     

     Signed:

     

    SafeJournalists Network

    Association of Journalists of Kosovo

    Association of Journalists of Macedonia

    BH Journalists Association

    Croatian Journalists’ Association

    Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

    Trade Union of Media of Montenegro

     

    Media Freedom Rapid Response

    European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

    European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

    Free Press Unlimited (FPU)

    International Press Institute (IPI)

    OBC Transeuropa (OBCT)