29 Mar UN Human Rights Committee – Concluding observations for Serbia

 

Belgrade, March  28th, 2017 – The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations made concluding observations for Serbia. In next a few paragraphs we shall present you a part of the report which refers to freedom of expression and of the media and civil society.

Full report you can be found HERE

 

Freedom of expression

The Committee is concerned about allegations of public officials publicly vilifying and intimidating media workers, and the narrowing of space for debate and, in particular, the prosecution of journalists and civil society actors for expressing their opinions. While noting the privatization of media, the Committee remains concerned about the lack of transparency of media ownership and the ongoing public influence exercised on some media. The Committee is also concerned about aspects of the application of the Public Assembly Act of 26 January 2016 that might hinder, and not facilitate, the right to freedom of assembly.

The State party should: (a) take immediate steps to provide effective protection to media workers from all forms of intimidation and ensure that all cases are duly investigated and perpetrators of those acts of intimidation prosecuted and appropriately sanctioned; (b) refrain from prosecuting journalists, human rights defenders and other civil society actors as a means of deterring or discouraging them from freely expressing their opinions; (c) take steps to ensure the transparency of media ownership and that privatized media are free and independent in conformity with the Committee’s general comment No. 34 (2011) on the freedoms of opinion and expression; and (d) review the application of the Public Assembly Act of 26 January 2016 so as to ensure its compatibility with the Covenant