Dubious justice, problematic legislation
The authorities continue to harass the media and professional journalists while the main cases of violence against journalists remain unpunished. Several journalists were briefly arrested in 2020 for allegedly disseminating false news but were acquitted on trial. Two people were arrested on suspicion of planning the May 2018 attack in which investigative reporter Olivera Lakić was shot in the leg, but the case remained unresolved, like many others. When Jovo Martinović was retried on a drug trafficking charge, he was again convicted despite a lack of evidence, although he got a shorter sentence – a year in prison. It served to confirm that this internationally respected reporter is the victim of full-blown judicial harassment. A balanced, professional attitude towards all quarters of society continues to be missing at the state-owned broadcaster RTCG, which the DPS party still controls although it lost the latest parliamentary elections, rejoining the opposition for the first time after 30 years in government. The new government, which took office in August 2020, said strengthening press freedom and improving conditions for the media and journalists would be a priority. Specifically, it said it would amend the 2019 media laws with the aim of eliminating controversial provisions under which journalists could be forced to reveal their sources, and changing the way the state broadcaster’s board is elected, which currently fails to safeguard it against political influence. These promises were not however followed by any legislative amendments or any improvements in investigations into violence against journalists.
105 in 2020
33.83 in 2020