Balkans - Articles
Many European leaders are taking a stand against alleged "foreign conspiracies" and "traitors". At least that's what they want their voters to believe, so that they can finally silence the pro-democracy and anti-corruption voices that keep them accountable.
Following a public outcry, Kosovo's President last week rejected a proposed law that would have criminalised libel and allowed journalists to be jailed if they didn't reveal their sources, report the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), and Human Rights Watch.
Last week Montenegro became the latest country in the world to decriminalise libel, reports the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI).
Bulgaria's Parliament has adopted changes to the penal code that have introduced jail time for journalists and writers who instigate hatred, discrimination or violence - and could be used to impose controls on the media, says the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI).
Posters calling for the death of B92 were plastered around a town in Serbia last week, the day after the independent broadcaster aired a show reporting on irregularities at the local coal mine, report the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
A court in Croatia has convicted six men for the mafia-style murder of high-profile journalist Ivo Pukanic, say international news reports. Pukanic, editor of the magazine "Nacional", was killed in October 2008, alongside his marketing manager, Niko Franjic, when a car bomb went off near their Zagreb office.
More than two years after declaring independence, Kosovo urgently needs a free press to expose "the ills that are undermining" the country, says a new report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). "Kosovo: Still not too late for press freedom" says journalists in the new country are under threat from nationalist militants and financial pressures, and barred from accessing information, with every sphere of government attempting to control editorial decisions. RSF met with journalists and new bloggers trying to work within an ethical framework, despite the numerous political and criminal elements working against them.
A Greek radio journalist and blogger who was about to publish results of an investigation into corruption in the country was lured out of his home in Athens and shot dead on 19 July, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). This is the first murder of a journalist in Greece in more than 20 years.
Serbian national security and police forces have been given the power to view the contents of citizens' personal email accounts without permission as a result of a new law adopted by parliament on 29 June, reports the International Press Institute (IPI). The legal system has also left journalists vulnerable to attacks with a recent court decision to reject charges against six people who allegedly threatened to murder a B92 reporter, says the Belgrade-based Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM).
A popular Macedonian broadcaster caused waves across the country when it issued a list of targeted journalists, accusing them of being traitors and calling for their "liquidation", reports the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). What's worse is that the Macedonian authorities failed to intervene, says EFJ.
A journalist who had written articles and a book on crime figures was gunned down on 5 January in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Index on Censorship and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The WAZ Media Group and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is honouring Bulgarian journalist Lidiya Pavlova with the "WAZ-IFJ Prize for Courage in Journalism". The award emphasises the role of independent media in "scrutinising" abuses of power.
Radio B92 - a Belgrade local radio station that blossomed into a national media network famous for its staunch independence and commitment to social responsibility - celebrates its 20th birthday this month.
Armed groups in Greece are resorting to attacking media houses, non-governmental organisations and reporters themselves to silence them, report the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) - an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
It has been called one of the most serious attacks on press freedom in years in the entire South East European region, one that could seriously damage Croatia's bid to join the European Union: two journalists were killed in a car bombing in Croatia, report the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), and other IFEX members.
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) released on 17 August 2008 a report on harassment, defamation and prosecution of minority rights defenders - including GHM - in Greece.
Journalists covering the arrest of the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic are continuing to be harassed and attacked, say the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
A popular independent media outlet has come under attack in Serbia following Kosovo's declaration of independence, report the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
An anti-racism activist has become the target of a hate campaign after giving evidence in the trial of a Greek author who denies the Holocaust, reports the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).
Bulgarian Milena Dimitrova, commentator for the Sofia newspaper "Trud", is this year's winner of the Dr. Erhard Busek-SEEMO 2007 Award. Dimitrova, who holds a PhD in journalism and teaches investigative journalism at a Sofia university, has also been a reporter and presenter of a TV programme dedicated to exposing corruption, and has written for the Bulgarian weekly "168 Hours" and the daily "Debati".