Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Serbia-Montenegro13 February 2004

British journalist and four local assistants prosecuted for "harming Montenegro’s image."

Dominic Hipkins, a reporter from the British weekly paper The Sunday Mirror, and four local assistants are to be prosecuted for "harming the image of Montenegro" in a "bogus" report on the trafficking of children, the Podgorica (Montenegro) prosecutor’s office announced on 10 February. Hipkins and the four - photographer Jovo Martinovic, interpreter Sinisa Nadazdin and fixers Dragan Radevic and Nenad Zevenic - were freed pending trial after six days in custody. All face up to three years in prison. Hipkins has since left the country and will be tried in his absence.


06.02.2004

Journalist being sought for "harming the image of Montenegro". Four others arrested

Reporters Without Borders has condemned legal action against British journalist Dominic Hipkins and the arrest of four local people, accused of "harming the image of Montenegro" with a "fabricated report" on child-trafficking in the region. They face up to three years in prison.

Without commenting on the content of the article by Hipkins, the international press freedom organisation called for the release of the four who have been arrested and for dropping of the charges, which it called "disproportionate".

Journalists should never be put at risk of prison sentences for harming a country’s image, it said. The authorities should, on the contrary, foster public debate on issues of general interest, in particular on such a serious question as child-trafficking.

Police in Montenegro said on 4 February that they were pressing charges against Hipkins, Jovo Martinovic, Sinisa Nadazdin, Dragan Radevic and Nenad Zevenic for "harming the image of Montenegro" over an article that appeared in the British weekly Sunday Mirror on 25 January and picked up by local newspapers. The British journalist described in the article how he posed as someone wanting to buy children and was offered three young children for sale.

Police said that, aided by the four people arrested, the journalist had fabricated the story and paid women in Podogorica to make up their accounts. The four local people are being held in custody and the British journalist is being sought by police.

Reporters Without Borders called on deputies to repeal Article 82 of the criminal code along with all other articles that unreasonably protect symbols of state, in line with recommendations made by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in November 2003.




  In this country
6 March - Belarus
Call for end to unofficial ban on foreign journalists
26 February - Belarus
Judge orders two issues of cultural magazine seized and destroyed
29 January - Belarus
In show of bad faith, government again refuses to issue press accreditation to Radio Racyja journalists
27 November - Belarus
Amid signs of tentative liberalisation, government urged to do more and to resist temptation to control Internet
26 September - Belarus
Media coverage of election campaign ignores political debates and opposition

in the annual report
Belarus - Annual Report 2008
Belarus - Annual report 2007
Belarus - 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