Centre for Civic Education (CCE) strongly condemns the attack on the journalist of the daily “Dan” Ms Lidija Nikčević, which represents dangerous continuation of violence against journalists in Montenegro, as well as terrible consequence of impunity of these crimes so far.
Unfortunately in 2014, journalists in Montenegro remain to work with burden of not only all previous, unexplained or inadequately processed attacks on their colleagues or the media property, but also faced with new cases that suggest further intensifying of violence spiral against all those thinking in critical manner or working in media that analyze Montenegrin reality in critical manner.
There is no political will in Montenegro to provide safe working environment for journalists. In addition, relevant institutions do not have neither power nor professional integrity to protect journalists and there is no willingness to determine responsibility for the current lack of the results when it comes to investigation of attacks on journalists and prosecution of perpetrators and those who order these crimes, including the murder of editor in chief of “Dan” Duško Jovanović.
In the country where journalists become constant and “legitimate” targets none can feel safe, nor in that country anyone can talk about substantive progress towards the EU. Any attack on journalists of the media which are opening the most painful issues of our everyday life, pointing to the numerous failures of institutions and question the power of those who think that the laws do not apply on them represent an attack on a free and critical thought in Montenegro, an attack on all who in various ways do the same, and therefore full protection of journalists and prosecution of attacks should be a state priority. A state that can not provide the protection of those who scrutinize the work of its decision-makers and institutions is not able to successfully lead the negotiations with the European Union, nor to apply its values and the standards in Montenegro. However, such attacks raise the question of whether the Government of Montenegro really wants to join EU?
CCE assesses with concern that we are entering 2014 with the captured state institutions, which are unable to do their job professionally, with their continuous abuse for the fight against political opponents and systematically unfriendly climate for the work of all those who are addressing the performance of formal and informal power centres in critical manner.
Daliborka Uljarević, executive director