The Trade Union of Media of Montenegro, on the occasion of November 2, the World Day for Ending Impunity for Attacks on Journalists, appeals to the competent state authorities to work with equal dedication on old and new cases of attacks and threats.
Although there is a visible shift in the work of institutions when it comes to responding to new threats that have occurred in the last two years, there is still no progress in old cases, at least judging by what is known to the public.
We remind you that the case of the murder of Duško Jovanović, which happened in 2004, is one of the oldest unsolved murders of journalists in Europe. For now, the only one convicted of complicity, Damir Mandić, is serving a 19-year prison sentence, while the client and motive are still unknown. There have been various announcements that there is some progress in the case, but the public has not received any confirmation. Also, the case of the attempted murder of Olivera Lakić from 2018 is still “in working”, without a single concrete move for almost six years now.
Investigative journalist Jovo Martinović was acquitted in July in an almost eight-year trial, during which he was detained for a year and a half. No matter how satisfied we are with the final outcome, we hope that the authorities will also deal with who is responsible for such persecution of a journalist.
During this year, we recorded 13 attacks and threats against journalists, with threats sent through social networks or electronic communication dominating, which indicates a downward trend in the number of attacks compared to last year, when 28 were recorded. We hope that this is the first effect of the application of the new Criminal Code, which provided for harsher sanctions for attacks on journalists, and that in the future, we will not exclusively talk about the journalistic profession through the prism of safety, but will focus on other problems of employees in the media.
Finally, we use this opportunity to call on media employees to report any threat or attack, which is what the Safe Journalist network’s regional campaign #DoNotHesitateReport focuses on.