Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights told the Istinomer website on Friday that the freedom of press and safety of journalists had been deteriorating, while from 1992 over 150 reporters had been killed in the countries within the CoE zone.
Mijatovic added that “unfortunately, some politicians are in the best case indifferent concerning the threats the journalists receive, while in the worst case, they incite violence and deepen people’s mistrust in media, what she described as “an unacceptable practice.”
“Some of the journalists who were killed covered war stories, however, the majority were murdered while trying to investigate the dark world ruled by corruption, crime and politics,” Mijatovic told the website.
Speaking about the media and journalists’ position in Serbia, Mijatovic said she had been in constant touch with them, their associations and NGOs working on their safety, and that she shared their concerns.
“There is some progress, but that is not enough. Such a situation can change. It requests a political will and concrete measures from the state such as a system of police protection of the journalists, independent judiciary able to punish the perpetrators as well as initiators, and the cooperation among state institutions and NGOs and the journalists’ associations and independent regulatory bodies,” Mijatovic said.
She added that Serbia still had to resolve the journalists’ murders from the 1990s.