VIENNA, 30 January 2013 – Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, welcomed today the establishment of a commission to assess progress in the investigations of unsolved murders of journalists in Serbia, but emphasized that the government needed to step up its own efforts to protect journalists.
“I fully support the new commission and I hope it will help to ensure that justice is served and will raise awareness of the issue of journalists’ safety. The journalists’ families and colleagues deserve justice and deserve to know who was behind their deaths,” said Mijatović.
“However, the responsibility remains with government institutions and the commission should in no way be perceived as relieving the government of this responsibility to investigate the murders and to ensure a safer working environment for media workers in general.”
“There is still a long way to go to end the impunity of those who instigate violence against journalists, in Serbia and beyond.”
The initiative by the Serbian government to establish an international commission to assess the progress of the investigations into the killings of Dada Vujasinović in 1994, Slavko Ćuruvija in 1999 and Milan Pantić in 2001was raised during Mijatović’s visit to Belgrade in 2012.
The international commission is headed by the Editor-in-Chief of Serbian broadcaster B92, Veran Matić. It is part of the Balkan Freedom Network, which is composed of representatives of journalist associations, human rights NGOs, independent regulatory bodies, and associations of prosecutors and judges.