15 years of search for truth about murder of Dusko Jovanovic

Centre for Civic Education (CCE), on the occasion of 27 May, when 15years will be marked of murder of Dusko Jovanovic, CeO and Editor-in-chief of daily Dan, expresses concern that this heinous crime has not yet been fully revealed.

Since the murder of Dusko Jovanovic to this date, there have been 85 attacks on journalists and media asset, and majority of these cases remain unresolved or without an adequate judicial outcome, which represents serious limitation for media freedom and work of journalists in Montenegro. Unfortunately, competent institutions that are obligated to protect media freedom and to prosecute any jeopardizing or attempt to jeopardize work of journalists demonstrated that this is not in their focus of work. Journalists are still live moving targets, and this is noted in all relevant international reports for Montenegro.

Regardless of the diversity of attitudes, Montenegro must be a place where pluralism of thinking will be its wealth, not the reason for physical assaults. Freedom of expression by speech, writing, picture or some other way is guaranteed by Article 47 of the Constitution of Montenegro.

Particular responsibility is on high-ranking state officials not to rhetorically contribute to increase of intolerance towards media that critically report on their work, i.e. to use their authority and competence to prevent attacks on journalists. Also, they should be the first to insist that competent authorities treat these cases as priority and to prosecute them efficiently.

Last year’s brutal assault on journalist Olivera Lakic is one of the consequences of the climate of impunity for attacks on journalists in Montenegro. It is unacceptable that even after 15 years we do not know who ordered the murder of Dusko Jovanovic, who was and in which manner involved in that crime, as well as that there is no responsibility for ineffective investigation in this case. This also directly influence long-lasting problem of safety of journalists whose profession is brought to the brink of survival.

There is no functional rule of law without resolving cases of attacks on journalists. The power of the state should be demonstrated by professional actions of institutions and those who think that by violence they can be above law and state must be afraid of these institutions, and not the opposite way.

Damir NIKOCEVIC, Development Coordinator