MFRR partners raise concerns about smear campaign directed at journalists in Montenegro

28 August 2020

mfrr logo

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners and press and media freedom organisations raise concerns about an online smear campaign directed at journalists in Montenegro

 

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners and press and media freedom organisations are deeply concerned by the smear and intimidation campaign undertaken against three journalists in Montenegro.

 

In mid-August, the online platform UDAR released a list of what it called “collaborators of Serbian secret services,“ which included three journalists, namely: Sinisa Lukovic and Vuk Lajovic of the daily Vijesti, and Drazen Zivkovic of the news site Borba.me. This inclusion is a clear attempt to target the journalists and undermine their reporting on corruption and abuse of power. UDAR conceals the authors and sources of its information and does not provide any independently verifiable evidence to support the list’s claims. Without the requisite information, the inclusion of Sinisa Lukovic, Vuk Lajovic and Drazen Zivkovic can only be seen as an attempt to restrict their work and dissuade others from continuing their work.

MFRR and partners call on Montenegrin authorities to investigate the online website and to have the journalists’ names removed from the list immediately. Authorities should also launch an investigation into the activities of Udar to ensure that they uphold the legislation on media transparency.

 

With the country gearing up for the parliamentary elections on 30 August, it is paramount that journalists are allowed to work freely and independently. For this reason, the MFRR urges the government of Montenegro to uphold press and media freedom and to allow journalists in the country to do their jobs without the fear of attack or the prospect of threats.

Signed:

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Free Press Unlimited (FPU)

International Press Institute (IPI)

Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)

This statement has been coordinated by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This project provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers. The MFRR is organised by an consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the Institute for Applied Informatics at the University of Leipzig (InfAI), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT). The project is co-funded by the European Commission.

mfrr joint partner logos

Read news by categories:

Related news

Press release

Report It campaign to highlight threats against journalists and media workers and encourage everyone to speak up and speak out

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which coordinates the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has today launched the ‘Report It’ campaign amid increased threats to journalists and media workers across Europe. In addition to creating awareness about different threats to press and media freedom, the Report It campaign encourages everyone to speak up and speak out against violations that they witness or experience in this regard.

READ MORE
Statement

ECPMF and MFRR partners write letter to the Greek authorities voicing concern over restricted access for media workers to Moria refugee camp

The Greek authorities are undermining press freedom and threatening the public’s right to know by restricting access for media workers to sites where refugees and asylum seekers are held following the fire that destroyed the Moria camp

READ MORE
Statement

MFRR partners write letter of concern to Albanian government regarding the plan to amend the country’s audio visual laws

We are writing to express our grave concern about the apparent plans of the Parliament of Albania to ignore the issues raised in Venice Commission Opinion No. 980/2020 of 19 June 2020, further threatening press freedom and the right to freedom of expression and to information in Albania.

READ MORE
Statement

ECPMF sign joint statement issuing 5 demands for an ambitious European Democracy Action Plan

Democracies in Europe have been faced with numerous challenges over the past decade, including increasing political polarisation, closing democratic space, increased mass surveillance, popular disillusionment with representative politics and democratic institutions, and increasingly assertive authoritarian global players. There is widespread recognition of the fact that democracy is under pressure across the world.

READ MORE
Press release

Wegen wiederholter Zusammenstöße: ECPMF veröffentlicht Codex, um Verhältnis zwischen Polizei und Presse in Deutschland zu verbessern

Das Verhältnis von Polizei und Journalist:innen ist angespannt. Medienschaffende beklagen ungerechtfertigte Behinderungen ihrer Arbeit, die zu Lasten der Pressefreiheit gingen. Zugleich kritisieren Polizist:innen, dass ihre Arbeit medial verzerrt dargestellt wird. Das ECPMF und Partnerhaben ein Codex entwickelt, um einen Dialog zu starten.

READ MORE
Statement

ECPMF calls on Turkey drop the charges against journalist Oktay Candemir and return his confiscated property

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, as part of  Media Freedom Rapid Response calls on the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally drop the charges against freelance journalist Oktay Candemir and to return his confiscated property in full and without delay.

READ MORE