Specialization of state prosecutors in cases of attacks on journalists

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Photo: ODT Podgorica

PODGORICA, 14.02.202 – On January 26 this year, the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica held a meeting between the Deputy Head of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica, State Prosecutor Armin Selmanović and the spokesman of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica, State Prosecutor Vukas Radonjić, and the President and expert associates of Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), Marijana Camović-Veličković, Bojana Konatar and Dražen Đurašković.

The topic of the meeting was the criminal protection of journalists and media workers in Montenegro, in light of the latest amendments to the Criminal Code of Montenegro, which provide stronger criminal protection to persons performing activities of public importance.

The meeting was the opportunity to analyze previous cases of verbal and physical attacks on journalists, within the jurisdiction of the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica, especially the unresolved ones. Representatives of SMCG were informed about the course of proceedings, the work of state prosecutors and police and all facts relevant for decisions on whether certain socially unacceptable behaviors constitute a criminal offense or an appropriate misdemeanor. It was especially emphasized that the course of criminal and misdemeanor proceedings also requires the active participation of journalists who have been harmed by a criminal offense, in order for the State Prosecutor’s Office to make a correct and lawful decision, which would eventually be subject to assessment by the criminal court.

The final conclusions of the meeting are that the SMCG should, in accordance with the law, be informed of all ongoing proceedings in which journalists and media workers are harmed, to the extent that the course of the proceedings is not jeopardized, in order to record all relevant data in the regional database of attacks “safejournalists.net”. Also, it is concluded  to consider the need to organize training of state prosecutors to deal with cases of attacks on journalists, within the program “Jufrex 2”, and the possible specialization of state prosecutors in cases of attacks on journalists. Representatives of SMCG and all media should continue cooperation with the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica through communication with the State Prosecutor’s Spokesperson.