Montenegrin Authorities to Reveal Identity of Željko Ivanović’s Assaulters

Nongovernmental organizations from Serbia, the Humanitarian Law Center, Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Women in Black, and Center for Cultural Decontamination, are pointing out that they are very worried about the assault of journalist Željko Ivanović, Director and one of the founders of the independent Montenegrin Vijesti Daily. They are demanding that Montenegrin authorities should support the media whose primary duty is to analyze critically the authorities and their acts.

Democratic public in the former Yugoslav republics is expecting Montenegrin authorities to identify the assaulters and provide relevant evidence proving that the assault of journalist Željko Ivanović was not a warning related to the critical stance expressed in the Vijesti Daily towards the government and articles about corruption and other problems that Montenegro, as well as other post-conflict societies of the former Yugoslavia, is dealing with.

Assault of Željko Ivanović is not an incident. Thus, Montenegrin government has to show that it does not support and will not allow beating of journalists, human rights activists, and writers, who criticize government. On the contrary, Montenegro will not be any different from Serbia where respective authorities still have not resolved the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija, Milan Pantić, and attempted murder of journalist Dejan Anastasijević.