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[Nettime-ro] SEEMO AND IPI PRESS RELEASE - MONTENEGRO
seemo on Thu, 17 Oct 2002 19:54:26 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-ro] SEEMO AND IPI PRESS RELEASE - MONTENEGRO


SEEMO AND IPI PRESS RELEASE - MONTENEGRO

Vienna, 17 October 2002


SEEMO Welcomes Media Laws But Fears Delays in Implementation

The International Press Institute (IPI) and its affiliate SEEMO (South East
Europe Media Organisation) welcome the adoption of media laws by the
Montenegrin Parliament on 16 September 2002, especially after the adoption
had already been postponed several times this year. These three laws, the
Media Law, the Broadcasting Law and the Law on Public Broadcasting Services,
comply with international and professional media standards. The laws were
drafted by a Media Working Group, with the involvement of local civil
society and media representatives, officials, and contained recommendations
by experts from the Council of Europe and international media organisations.

However, SEEMO and IPI are concerned about the full implementation of these
laws. At the same time the laws were adopted, members of the Montenegrin
Parliament decided to postpone the full implementation of the laws to 1 May
2003. As a result, there is a chaotic media situation in Montenegro.
Furthermore, SEEMO and IPI are afraid that there may be another
Parliamentary vote to once again postpone the implementation of these laws.
SEEMO and IPI believe that the provisions contained in the new media laws
should be treated as an urgent matter and should be implemented immediately.

SEEMO and IPI are also troubled by the existence of articles in the Criminal
Code regarding defamation and insult. We believe that defamation should be
dealt with under civil law and that so-called insult laws have been used by
repressive regimes to silence journalists reporting critically on the
management of governmental affairs.

SEEMO and IPI are also concerned because, during the pre-election period,
journalists have been unable to report. According to information provided to
SEEMO's Vienna office, the Liberal Alliance has forbidden journalists
working for the daily Vijesti from participating in two pre-election
meetings, one in Budva on 7 October and the other in Danilovgrad on 8
October.

SEEMO and IPI strongly protest the continued practice, carried out by
politicians, of appointing individuals to editorial and managerial positions
in state and community owned media, who are clearly instruments of one
political party or group. In recent months, SEEMO and IPI have registered
several such cases.

According to the information before SEEMO, there have been several new cases
of threats made against journalists in Montenegro during recent weeks. The
duty of the state is to provide an environment in which media professionals
are able to carry out their duties without fear of attack.

Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General and Johann Fritz, IPI Director, urge
the authorities and all political representatives in Montenegro to accept
international media standards, to support freedom of expression reform, to
replace declarations and rhetoric with concrete acts, to allow editors and
journalist to work independently, professionally and without pressure from
any political group, as well to ensure the safety of all journalists working
in Montenegro. We remind that journalists and media have an essential role
in every democratic society.

END
______
SEEMO - IPI - Spiegelgasse 2/29 - 1010 Vienna - Austria - Tel (SEEMO+HELP
LINE): +43 1 513 39 40 - Tel (IPI): +43 1 512 90 11 - Fax: +43 1 512 90 15 -
E-mail: seemo {AT} freemedia.at - http://www.freemedia.at/seemo  - SEEMO is a
regional network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in
Albania, Bosnia Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FR Yugoslavia (Serbia,
Montenegro, Kosovo), Greece, Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Moldova and
Romania. Observers: Cyprus, Hungary, and Slovenia. SEEMO Secretary General:
Oliver Vujovic. SEEMO Board: Radomir Licina - President, Samra Luckin,
Stjepan Malovic,  Risto Popovski, Mircea Toma, Remzi Lani and Ognian Zlatev.
SEEMO Co-ordinators: Albania - Frrok Cupi, Bosnia Hercegovina - Zoran
Udovicic, Bulgaria - Maria Yaneva, Croatia - Danko Plevnik, Greece -
Georgios Papadakis, Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) - Risto Popovski,
 Moldova - Angela Sirbu, Romania - Dan Preda, Serbia - Veran Matic,
Montenegro - Zeljko Ivanovic, Kosovo - Haqim Mulliqi.



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