Human Rights Action (HRA) urged the Government to consider at its first next session the Second report of the Commission for monitoring actions of the competent state authorities regarding the investigations of old and recent cases of intimidation and violence against journalists, murders of journalists and attacks on media property (i.e. Commission for monitoring investigations of attacks on journalists), from 12 March 2015, submitted by the Commission to the Government two months ago, and to enable effective work of the Commission by:
a) Ensuring that the Commission is timely provided with all data requested;
b) Securing its members’ access to all the data in accordance with their authorization for accessing all data, regardless of the classification level;
c) Announcing a reward for information assisting investigations.
HRA expects the Government to consider at its first next session the second report of the Commission for monitoring investigations of attacks on journalists, submitted two months ago, and to take measures to concretely support the work of the Commission, formed by the Government in February 2014. (This second in line report submitted to the Government encompasses actually the second and third report on the Commission’s work, covering the period from June to October 2014, and from October 2014 to January 2015).
HRA reminds that the Government “took into account“ the first report of the Commission in June last (2014) year, but did not “adopt it” (as subsequently clarified), meaning that it took no position on the claims and proposals set out in the first report on the work of the Commission.
HRA believes that this time the Government should take concrete measures in response to serious allegations made by the Commission in the report that it needed “a timelier and more comprehensive response of state authorities in possession of documents important for the work of the Commission”.
HRA emphasises the Commission’s proposal that it should be provided ”a real and not formal access to classified data concerning the investigations from the Police, State Prosecutors and the National Security Agency, which has not been done so far,” which is worrying because without access to data the Commission is unable to fulfil its most important function “to prepare an opinion on the effective manner in which conduct of investigations could be improved and propose concrete measures to that end.”
Bearing in mind that there have been no significant developments in the investigations of the most important cases of attacks against journalists, as well as that any further time flow reduces the possibility that those responsible for the crimes will be brought to justice, HRA also supports the Commission’s recommendation that the Government should announce a reward for delivering information that could be of assistance in murder investigation progress of the editor in chief of daily Dan, Duško Jovanović, as well as other information that may lead to clarifying the attacks on journalists and media property.
HRA invites the Government to secure conditions necessary for the Commission to fulfil its task, by undertaking measures that would allow that the Commission:
a) Is timely provided with all data requested;
b) Is secured access to all the data in accordance with the authority of its members to access all data, regardless of the classification level; and
c) Announces a reward for information that could be of assistance in investigations progress.