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25. 11. 2015



Freedom of expression - the authors of the Report point to the unfavorable environment for journalism and the media in general, dealing with the following cases: the still unelucidated attack on journalist Ivan Ninic, organized, as the victim alleges, by a state official the business dealings of which Ninic has been investigating for the last three years; the threats against the security of Natalija Jakovljevic, journalist and President of the Center for Civil Values from Subotica, made by the former Mayor of Kanjiza Lajos Bala, who published Jakovljevic's personal data and address in an op-ed online in which he voiced his disagreement with certain allegations made by the Center. The authors also analyzed the case of the attack by the Hungarian police on the RTS crew (and another two foreign journalists), which happened in the context of the refugee/migrant crisis in Europe, pointing to the fact that the problems faced by freedom of expression far transcend the borders of Serbia. Legal proceedings - the Report comments on: the verdict of the Administrative Court on the complaint by "Danas" journalist Bojan Cvejic over "administrative silence". The Court ordered the government to furnish to Cvejic information as to how many approvals for new employments in the public sector were issued despite the general ban on new employments. The authors also analyze the trial against Nebojsa Covic, the President of KK Crvena Zvezda, the former Mayor of Belgrade, and the former Vice President of the Government of Serbia, in relation to the attack against journalist Dejan Andjus in June 2014.

Implementation of the Law - The Law on Public Information and Media: With regard to the public gathering in Belgrade, the reason of which was the implementation of the provisions of the said Law concerning project co-financing, the monitoring team discuss the key findings from that gathering and analyze the potential sanctions (in the opinion of some participants of the rally) that officials could face in those local governments that failed to call competitions for project co-financing of media under new rules. The report also analyses the legal aspects of the mechanisms for the protection of minority media from political influence and for the realization of pluralism of opinions inside minority communities, in relation to the initiative from the civil sector striving to contribute to that aim (the Independent Association of Journalists of Vojvodina has initiated the version of its web portal Autonomija in Hungarian language). The Law on Electronic Media: the Report examines the legal mechanisms for addressing the problem of persistent violations of the provisions of the Law on Electronic Media concerning the protection of minors and protection of human rights in the reality shows aired on certain national TV stations, regarding the new measures issued by the Regulator against Happy TV due to the show "Parovi" and TV Pink over the show "Farma". The authors of the Report also review the Law on Copyright and Related Rights, building on what the editor of the web portal Mondo Predrag Vujic called a "poor practice of copy/paste journalism" and taking over texts without consent and without signing the source of the information. The Advertising Law: in relation to the public debate initiated over the advertising of food and drinking water in ads ascribing medical properties to these foodstuffs, the authors analyze the legal aspects of advertising foodstuffs and dietetic products in the media.

In the part of the Report concerning the adoption of new laws, the authors point to serious shortcomings of the Draft Advertising Law, which was at one time tabled for public debate and which will, as it stands, soon be submitted for parliamentary procedure unchanged, despite many objections.

Activities of competent authorities, bodies and organizations - In relation to the concerns voiced by the Commissioner for Information of Public Interest and Personal Data Protection over the problem of an alarming amount of personal data that appear in the public in general, especially in the media, the authors of the Report point out the related problem of "leaking of information from investigations" and misuse of such data by the media - the Report addresses this problem and its consequences for the realization of human rights and the rule of law principle, as a foundation of democracy.

The privatization process - The authors of the Report provide an overview of the media privatization process and take the example of RTV Vranje to analyze the problems that have emerged with the free distribution of shares to the employees, pointing to the roots of these problems, both legal and political, as well as to their potential consequences on media reforms.

In the Conclusion of the Report, summing up their findings about the media situation in Serbia in September 2015, the authors indicate the reasons that could put the media reforms to a complete standstill.

The Sixty-fourth 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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