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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

Click to expand Image Migrants are seen in front of a dorm…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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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,…
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 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…
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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
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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…
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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…
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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.…
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Reform of Security Structures Needed as New U.N. Administrator Takes Office

The NATO-led Kosovo Force and U.N. international police failed catastrophically to protect minorities during the widespread rioting in Kosovo in March, Human Rights Watch said today in the first detailed report on the attacks. The 66-page report, “Failure…
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Human Rights Watch called on the Yugoslav Army to implement immediately its stated commitment, made yesterday, to investigate war crimes committed against ethnic Albanians during last year's war in Kosovo. "The authorities in Belgrade should fulfill…
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Continued Attack on Academic Freedom and the Independent Media

Human Rights Watch today condemned a new clampdown on the Internet in Serbia, part of a concerted effort by President Slobodan Milosevic to stifle free expression and academic freedom. The university administration's order prevents students, professors,…
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In an open letter today to Serbian President Milutinovic, the Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee, a group of internationally prominent scholars and academic leaders, protests a new Serbian law that the committee calls "an unprecedented assault…