Montenegro: journalism is not a crime
The Media Freedom Rapid Response partners and media freedom organisations strongly condemn the decision by the High Court of Montenegro to sentence investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic to one year in prison for participating in drug trafficking.
Jovo Martinovic’s conviction is a gross injustice, following almost five years of judicial persecution merely for doing his job. Beyond the violation of Martinovic’s human rights, his prosecution and conviction moreover contribute to a chilling effect on media freedom in Montenegro and raise serious concerns about the effectiveness of the rule of law in the country, a key condition for accession to the European Union. Questions remain as to the court’s readiness to take into consideration evidence from the defence or establish an understanding of the journalistic practices that readily explain Martinovic’s actions.