01/10/2012 Press release on the occasion of anniversary of the Yugoslav People’s Army siege of Dubrovnik

20/09/2012 The journalists’ right to protect sources

In relation to recent summoning of the journalists of the daily Dan by the state prosecutor to give evidence in investigation of publishing secret information in relation to the ”Telecom case” corruption investigation,

Human Rights Action (HRA) emphasises the right of journalists to protect sources of information, which the European Court has called “cornerstones of media freedom”, explaining that without this right sources might be deterred from providing information of public interest to the press.  There is a presumption of protection of this right, which may be restricted only in exceptional cases – if there is an overriding imperative in the public interest (serious, important and urgent social need for protection of a legitimate aim in accordance with the Art. 10, para 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and if the investigating authorities have exhausted all other reasonable measures, alternative to the detection of journalistic sources.

The European Court of Human Rights has not established in any judgment to date that the state was right to restrict the right to protection of journalistic sources, either by requiring from a journalist to reveal sources of information or by punishing or detaining a journalist due to non-disclosure of sources, by placing a journalist under surveillance, conducting a search of their houses, media premises or seizing documents obtained from a protected source.