PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 28 September 2015 – The OSCE Mission in Kosovo today launched an awareness-raising campaign urging journalists to report cases of intimidation, threats or blackmail to a new helpline set up by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo...
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PRESS RELEASE

OSCE Mission in Kosovo launches campaign to promote free helpline for reporting threats against journalists

PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 28 September 2015 – The OSCE Mission in Kosovo today launched an awareness-raising campaign urging journalists to report cases of intimidation, threats or blackmail to a new helpline set up by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo.

The campaign will run for one month on billboards posted across Kosovo in the Albanian, Serbian and Turkish languages. The aim is to inform the journalist community of this helpline and use the information received to help law enforcement bodies take necessary action.

“Recent years have been quite difficult for journalists in Kosovo. At least 27 journalists were harassed, threatened, attacked or mistreated in 2014,” said Ambassador Jean-Claude Schlumberger, Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. “The trend remains the same for the first three quarters of 2015 – 22 cases have already been registered. For this reason, we have supported the Association of Journalists of Kosovo in establishing the free helpline through the Telecom of Kosovo, which will be used by journalists to report attacks on them directly and confidentially.”

“Journalists should be free to report on sensitive topics of public interest. Failure to investigate attacks against them encourages perpetrators to continue with these acts and suppress good journalism,” he added.

Zekirja Shabani, Head of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, said: “Ensuring the safety of journalists needs the support and the help of everyone. This is why we are launching this 24/7 helpline where journalists can lodge their complaints, concerns or threats. The helpline will also help us to create a log with first-hand data on cases involving journalists that will be used to better protect the journalists and try to end impunity of perpetrators.”

The free helpline for reporting threats against journalists is 0800 11 333.

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is mandated with human rights protection and promotion, democratization and public safety sector development. It is helping safeguard freedom of media and freedom of expression and supports media development.



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