Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Serbia-Montenegro23 February 2005

One-year suspended prison sentence for journalist in libel case

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the one-year suspended prison sentence for libel imposed on former Podrinski Telegraf editor Milan Milinkovic in the western city of Sabac on 10 February, pointing out that both the United Nations and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) oppose the application of prison sentences for press offences.

"Worse still, the Serbian government has just published a draft new criminal code that would make attacks on a person’s honour and reputation punishable by a year in prison, although justice minister Zoran Stojkovic gave OSCE representative undertakings in November 2004 to decriminalize press offences," the press freedom organization said.

The one-year suspended sentence was handed down by municipal court judge Ivica Lazarevic in response to a libel action brought by Nebojsa Jovanovic, the owner of Medikom (a company that distributes Kodak products in Serbia), over a March 2002 article about Medikom’s links with former President Slobodan Milosevic’s Socialist Party of Serbia and with the Yugoslav Left Party of Milosevic’s wife, Mirjana Markovic.

The judge ruled that the word "relationship" was "inappropriate" in the context of the article and that Milinkovic should have used the term "cooperation." Milinkovic was also fined 100 euros and ordered to pay 400 euros in court costs. His lawyer, Branislav Sekulovic, said he would appeal.

The draft law envisaging prison sentences for journalists in violation of the justice minister’s pledge to the OSCE was published on 19 February. In cases in which journalists reveal information about a person’s private life that is liable to affect their honour and reputation, they can be given a one-year suspended sentence. The new draft criminal code also envisages suspended prison sentences of up to six months for libel.




  In this country
3 April - Serbia-Montenegro
New trial to be held in murder of newspaper editor Dusko Jovanovic
14 June - Serbia
Interior ministry orders internal police inquiry into conduct of Curuvija and Pantic cases
13 April - Serbia-Montenegro
Slavko Curuvija’s killers still not identified seven years after his murder
14 September - Serbia-Montenegro
Journalist brutally beaten
9 September - Serbia-Montenegro
Death threats made against the editor of an independent media group

in the annual report
Serbia-Montenegro / Kosovo - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

Reports
5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison
archives

Sign the petitions
Uzbekistan
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives