The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, welcomed a Serbian court ruling, convicting the people responsible for the 1999 killing of journalist Slavko Curuvija.
“I welcome this first instance court decision against those who committed this heinous crime 20 years ago. Slavko Curuvija was a courageous journalist, not afraid to write about sensitive issues during very turbulent times in Serbia. He paid the highest price for his journalistic work and that is why it is of utmost importance that justice is served. This long-awaited ruling is significant, as it shows that there can be no impunity even for crimes committed 20 years ago,” an OSCE statement quoted Désir as saying.
He added that impunity for crimes against journalists is unacceptable and constitutes a second crime against them.
“This decision needs to be used as positive momentum, and I urge the Serbian authorities to finally shed light on other killings of prominent journalists, including Dada Vujasinovic in 1994 and Milan Pantić in 2001,” Désir said.
The OSCE official recalled the Safety of Journalists Decision adopted at the Ministerial Council in Milan that calls on OSCE participating States to “take effective measures to end impunity for crimes committed against journalists, by ensuring accountability as a key element in preventing future attack…”.