Commission for Investigating Murders of Journalists to investigate cases from the wars of the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo

August 15, 2018

The Serbian government has decided that the Commission for Investigating Murders of Journalists will in future also deal with cases of killings and disappearances of journalists in Kosovo during the period from 1998 to 2001 and the murders of journalists in the conflicts of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995.

This commission, which is presided over by former B92 editor-in-chief Veran Matić and which has to date investigated only the murders of journalists Slavko Ćuruvija, Dado Vujasinović and Milan Pantić, says that this decision is “very important for the fight against failures to punish the murderers of journalists”, but also that it represents a response to the data of the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) regarding the more than 40 journalists killed and missing in the country during the wars of the former Yugoslavia.

Following this decision, the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism and the Security of Journalists was appended to include 14 unsolved cases of killings, kidnappings and disappearances of Serbian and Albanian journalists and media workers in Kosovo during the period from 1998 to 2005.

The Council of Europe’s Platforms reported these cases with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), after which the EFJ Assembly, on 6th June this year in Lisbon, unanimously adopted the Resolution on the Investigations of Killings of Journalists in Kosovo, which was jointly submitted by UNS, the Independent Journalists Association Serbia (NUNS), the Union of Journalists of Serbia (SINOS) and the Association of Journalists in Kosovo (AGK).

Matić reported to media that he had received information from the Kosovo Prosecutor’s Office regarding 11 cases of missing and killed journalists from Kosovo in their records and that they were forwarded to local prosecutors, while they had no information on the fate of three other journalists.