Kosovo: journalists attacked amid growing tensions with Serbia

  • 06 Jan 2023

NUJ joins calls for improved measures to protect journalists following six attacks in December.

The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in urging authorities in Kosovo to take action to ensure the safety of journalists.

The Association of Journalists in Kosovo (AJK) has also highlighted that amid growing tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, journalists have been attacked in recent months. Both the AJK and IFJ have called on the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, the Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the police to implement required measures.

Tensions have worsened in the divided city of Mitrovica, with Belgrade (Serbia) accusing Pristina (Kosovo) of infringing on the rights of the Serbian community. On 27 December, new barricades were erected in Serbia following president Aleksandar Vucic’s decision to put the army on the highest level of alert.

In December, journalist Leonita Jajrami was targeted by explosives while reporting on new barricades.  She is one of six journalists attacked in the month, including teams from Kallxo.com, Klan Kosova and TeVe1.

Although there has been significant progress addressing safety issues for journalists, there is still concern about adequate protections and press freedom.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said: 

"Attacks against journalists and media workers are unacceptable. We welcome the progress that has been made to decrease tensions and ask the authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of journalists reporting on the ground. Too many cases of missing and killed journalists are still unpunished in the region. This is why the adoption of a UN Convention for the safety and independence of journalists is badly needed."

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