State encourages violence against journalists by its lack of action

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) condemns the latest, last night’s, attack on the redaction of the daily “Vijesti”, which is more dangerous than any previous similar and calls again the state authorities to finally start doing their job professionally and to create conditions in which the media critcizing Government and people close to them will not be exposed to life danger because of such their work.

CCE assess that this is an extremely concerning message for Montenegro and that it can influence a slowdown of the process of negotiations with the European Union, which perhaps can be the objective of someone in the Government. Violence escalates due to the obvious unwillingness and limitations of the bodies in charge to produce results in investigation within one comprehensive and effective action that will lead to the protection of journalists and their redactions. In that manner, they are converted them to targets, and the Government itself, the State Supreme Prosecutor and the Police Directorate are becoming direct accomplices by its lack of action.

CCE believes that this is not just an attack on the redaction of “Vijesti”, but also to all those who are opponents of the regime and that a similar kind of pressure can be expected in the coming period in various forms. Climate is systemic created by government bodies, by powerful political and criminal circles close to them, helped by eligible media and NGOs so that everyone who has the courage to continiously critically reflect would be sufficiently intimidated or completely prevented from doing his/her job.

Montenegrin journalists are living for far too long with the burden of the unresolved murder of one editor in chief. Last night we had an attempt of murder of another one. None of the physical attacks on journalists has been fully resoloved yet. Meanwhile, media in which these journalists work are discriminated by the Government when it comes to financing through various types of contractual relations, their owners are openly or secretly objects of attempts of criminalization. All of this creates an atmosphere of lynch in which it becomes perfectly acceptable to beat reporters, to destroy property of the redactions, to fabricate scandals to the NGO sector which condemns such affairs.

CCE concludes that this “New Year’s greetings” to the redaction of “Vijesti” is threat to all open minded citizens, but also another expression of weakness of governmental institutions to do their job professionally.

Daliborka Uljarević, executive director