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06. 10. 2015



Freedom of expression - While there have been different problems in this area, the Reports analyses two cases of threats and two attacks against journalists and media. Threats and pressures - on the occasion of the latest hacking of the Titulli.com web portal, the authors of the report pointed to the fact that hacking attacks against news portal represent a type of media censorship, if we take into consideration their consequences. Concerning the speech of SNS official Dejan Kovacevic at the stand of the local council in Gornji Milanovac or rather his intolerable threatening message to the media (namely, their sources, as Kovacevic's colleagues from the party later tried to justify him), the authors of this Report highlighted the shortcomings of the existing criminal protection of journalists from threats, which make the latter ineffective. Attacks - the first case, although the journalist himself was most probably not the intended target (the incident in the City Hall of Uzice, when journalist Milan Djokic was stabbed on the press conference), is drastic evidence of the heightened risk carried by the journalist profession for the security of media professionals, as well as of the need to take measures to improve the security and the environment in which media and journalists work. In the second case, the target of the attack was Milorad Komrakov, the last of Milosevic's editors of RTS' news program back in 2000, although the motives of the attack remain a mystery. In the part dealing with legal proceedings, the authors of the Report have analyzed two judgments from the reporting period, which they have estimated to represented a step backwards in the Serbian judicial practice relative to media-related disputes: 1. The judgment of the First Basic Court in Belgrade, which partially sustained the claim of the plaintiffs Stojic, Nenkovic and Bosnjak, former journalists of "Vecernje Novosti", against the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS); the three sued the daily for the non-pecuniary damage they had allegedly suffered due to the criminal charges filed by NUNS in 2007 against an unknown person for the criminal offense of abetting war crimes; 2. Judgment of the Appellate Court in Nis sustaining the judgment of the Higher Court in Zajecar, which judgment ordered Vladimir Novakovic, for whom the courts determined that he was not the Editor-in-Chief of the B92.net website, to pay damages to Zivorad Nikolic, a retired police officer from Bor, for conveying inaccurate information on the said website, originally published in another media. This part of the Report also points to the Report of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Nils Muiznieks, which is result of his visit to Serbia in March 2015. Among other things, the Commissioner elaborated on the media freedoms in Serbia, clearly recognizing both the progress and the problems in the Serbian media landscape, giving certain recommendations and making certain conclusions.

In the part of this Report dedicated to the Implementation of existing laws, the authors of the Report elaborated on issues related to the implementation of the Law on Public Information and Media, namely: how the Serbian legal system protects the media and journalists from discrimination, in relation to the potential discrimination of the media claimed by UNS to be carried out for months by the executives of the municipality of Smederevo. The Report also analyses the provisions of the Law and the Rulebook regulating registration with the Media Registry, on the occasion of the call by the competent ministry to the media to enter the prescribed information in the Registry. The authors of the Report explained that, while registration is not mandatory, the failure to register entails certain consequences; they said that furnishing certain data is not the obligation of the media, but that of public authorities. They also pointed out to issues the Law stopped short of regulating. The Report also deals with issues related to the implementation of the Law on Electronic Media: relative to the contradictory information as to whether Radio B92 has substantially changed (apart from its name) its programming concept, the authors of the Report pointed out to regulatory shortcomings, making it unclear on what grounds the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) may react and if it may react at all in the situation involving a major change to the concept of a media outlet, especially in the case of licenses issued under the previous Broadcasting Law.  Analyzed were also the five REM rulebooks that came into force in this period, regulating the obligations of electronic media during the election campaign, the obligations related to the protection of human rights and obligations concerning prize competitions, as well as the procedure of issuance of the license for providing media services at request and the license on the basis of an open competition. For the last two rulebooks, the authors of the Report said they stop short of regulating all the significant issues (the conditions and the criteria for the issuance of licenses); as to the rulebook dealing with the obligations of media concerning human rights protection, the authors pointed to a potential problem due to the fact that the rulebook in question prescribes the obligation of media to judge by themselves if human rights have been violated during a live program as well as if the press releases or documents by agencies or the representatives of public authorities aired by such media violate human rights, and must inform the viewers and listeners about such human rights violations. The Report also deals with matters concerning the implementation of the Law on Public Service Broadcasters; the basic model of funding of PSBs - the subscription fee, its mandatory character and purpose of payment; the opaque introduction of the new media service by RTS, outside of the statutory procedure (the RTS3 channel).

Adoption of new laws - the authors of the Report deal with the Draft Law on Information Security, subject to a public debate launched by the competent ministry, the provisions of which may also concern media portals.

Since the month of June didn't see too many meaningful activities by competent bodies, authorities and organizations and such activities have been elaborated on in other parts of the Report, the authors specified where the same may be found in the Report.

The privatization process - The authors point to the phase of privatization that was topical in this period.

In addition to summing up their findings about the most important developments on the media landscape in July 2015, in the Conclusion of the Report the authors pointed to the most marked developments in that period.

The Sixty-second Monitoring Report was prepared by the ANEM expert monitoring team from the law office „Živković&Samardžić", in cooperation with ANEM.

The Summary and Conclusion of the Report in English are available for download at the end of this page.

The full report and its sections in Serbian are available for download here.


The creation of this Report is supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia within the Small Projects Fund, but the views presented in this Report are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia.  


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