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Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
News
On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
News

Investigate Crimes against Journalists, Protect Independent Press

(Berlin) – Journalists across the Western Balkans face a hostile environment that impedes their ability to do critical reporting. More than a year after Human Rights Watch documented impediments to media freedom in Bosnia and…
Balkan media under threat
News

11-Month Pre-Trial Detention Unjustified

Update: On January 15, 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica found Martinovic guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for alleged drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization. He will appeal the verdict. Martinovic already served 14…
Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović
News
It was just a bolt of pink cotton lying on the floor of a school gym but more than 20 years later, it haunts me still – soldiers tore off strips of that cloth, blindfolded dozens of men, trucked them to a nearby field, shot them, and buried all but a…
Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a coffin July 10, 2005 with remains of their relative in a factory hall in Potocari where 610 victims of Srebrenica massacre wait for the funeral.
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
Report
  Summary Vladimir Mitrić, a Serbian journalist, has always been drawn towards unearthing the darker side of life: human and drug smuggling; war crimes; corrupt politicians, war profiteers, tycoons and murders shielded by…
News

Prosecute Crimes Against Journalists, Ensure Media Independence

(Brussels) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
Balkan media under threat
News
It’s not easy to be an investigative journalist in the Western Balkans. Besides the inherent challenges of the job, reporters can face physical attacks, intimidation, even death threats. Reporting an attack to the authorities rarely brings justice.…
A cartoon in Serbian Blic satirizing Olja Bećković’s weekly TV show Utisak Nedelje
News
If Kosovo is serious about its European future, whoever forms the next government faces a big job to improve its justice system and human rights record. Kosovo took another step toward this European future on June 8, with its second general election since…
News
A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible…
News

Parliament Should Strike Criminal Defamation, Compulsion to Reveal Sources

(Berlin) – Kosovo’s National Assembly should remove provisions from the draft criminal code that criminalize defamation and compel journalists to reveal their sources, Human Rights Watch said yesterday in a letter to members of the National Assembly’s…
News

Credible Accusations of Disappearances, Executions, and Organ-Trafficking

(New York) - The United States and European governments should demand thorough and impartial criminal investigations in Kosovo and Albania into allegations of serious crimes by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members, Human Rights Watch said today.…
News

Government Should Condemn Threats and Defend Press Freedom

(Brussels) - Kosovo's president and prime minister should forcefully condemn recent threats against the independent journalist Jeta Xharra in a newspaper that receives substantial advertising revenues from the government, Human Rights Watch said today.…
News
Many people in Bosnia and beyond thought they would never see Radovan Karadzic standing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It seemed almost beyond the dreams of the rape victims that I interviewed in Bosnia in…