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news 23 Jan 14

Montenegrin Journalists Stage Silent Protest

Reporters scheduled a silent protest for Thursday in front of the government headquarters against the recent wave of attacks on staff of independent media.

Dusica Tomovic

The protest in Podgorica, in which journalists are advised to keep their mouths shut, has been organized by the Media Union on the day of Montenegrin Journalists, which is marked on January 23.

On Wednesday, the union urged “all those who care about freedom of speech” to join the protest, which is focusing not only on numerous unresolved attacks on journalists, but on a perceived lack of political will to end them.

“We do not believe that after all these unsolved cases the police will do anything to stop the violence against journalists,” union activist Darko Ivanovic told a press conference on Wednesday.

Union chief Marijana Camovic on Wednesday recalled several recent attacks or threatened attacks on journalists working for the independent media outlets Vijesti, Dan and the weekly Monitor. Few of the cases have been resolved.

Lidija Nikcevic, a correspondent for Dan, was assaulted two weeks ago by masked men wielding a baseball bat. The assault came a week after an explosive device detonated under the newsroom windows of Vijesti.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a resolution on Montenegro, expressing “grave concern about an increase in verbal and physical intimidation of journalists.
“Attacks and threats against them must be properly investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted,” the resolution said.

The OSCE and local media watchdogs have also condemned the attacks and called for a swift and transparent investigation that will lead to the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators.

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