Today was held a panel discussion entitled “Towards the rule of law and freedom of expression: how to ensure punishing attacks on journalists, how to prevent such attacks and provide a legal framework favorable for investigative journalism?” which was supported by the Australian Embassy.
At the opening ceremony, the audience was addressed by H.E. Julia Fini, the Australian Ambassador in Belgrade, H. E. Mitja Drobnič, Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation in Montenegro, Mr. Ivica Stanković, Supreme State Prosecutor of Montenegro, Mr. Goran Danilović, Minister of the Interior Affairs, Mrs. Marijana Laković –Drašković, general Director of the Directorate for the judiciary of the Ministry of Justice and Mrs. Tea Gorjanc Prelević, HRA executive director.
At the conference spoke Mr. Saša Leković, the president of Croatian Journalists’ Association, Mrs.Tamara Čausidis, the president of Independent Syndicate of journalists and media workers in Macedonia, Mr. Veran Matić, the president of Commission for Investigation of murders of journalists of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Saša Rakočević, Head of the Department for Combating General Crime, Police Directorate and Mr. Mihailo Jovović, Daily Vijesti editor, former deputy President of the Commission for monitoring investigations of attacks on journalists.
In addition to the discussion on how to ensure that the police and prosecutor’s office conduct an effective investigation of attacks on journalists and discover all the perpetrators (perpetrators, accomplices, helpers, bosses) the most serious crimes against journalists in Montenegro (murder of Duško Jovanović, murder of Srđan Vojičić during the attack on Jevrem Brković, physical attacks on Tufik Softić, Željko Ivanović, Olivera Lakić, Mladen Stojović, Jevrem Brković, explosion at building of Vijesti, car ignition of Vijesti), on this meeting was presented and HRA proposal for amendments to the Criminal Code (CC), which was supported by a majority of participants.
The MPs Mr. Velizar Kaludjerovic expressed willingness to put this proposal to the parliamentary procedure personally, if this is not the willingness of the Government of Montenegro. During the discussion there were words mostly about how to define the notion of journalists, whether to extend it enough to include citizens who act in order to inform the public about an event of public interest, whether the offered definition is sufficient to provide protection for photographers and cameramen, etc. Representative of the Ministry of Justice Ms. Merima Baković announced that the working group of the Ministry of Justice, which is working on the draft amendments to the Criminal Code will consider the HRA proposal and declare about it to the end of September this year, when it is expected to be presented to the public the draft law on amendments to the Criminal Code.