Justice Report Editor Receives Recognition

BIRN Justice Report editor Nidzara Ahmetasevic was honoured at an Italian journalism award ceremony in Rome on December 12.

The Italian association Claudio Accardi awarded her story “Crime Not Spoken About”, which deals with rape and sexual abuse of men in detention camps during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the special recognition prize.

The five-member jury, consisting of eminent Italian journalists and publicists, said she deserved the award for writing about an almost unknown subject.

They also said that the story stood out from many of the 79 entries from around the world for the category because of its approach to such “a difficult topic”.

Nidzara Ahmetasevic is the first non-Italian recipient of Claudio Accardi special recognition award. It’s the third year in a row that it has been handed to journalists who write about wars and consequences of wars on societies.

The association was founded in 2003 in memory of the famous RAI correspondent from war-torn parts of the world, Claudio Accardia.

“Crime Not Spoken About” was published in the 8th edition of Justice Report. You can read it in Bosnian here.

Nis Workshop for Albanian and Serbian Journalists

An editorial workshop for six journalists from South Serbia was held from December 8 to 10 at the Nis Media Centre, as part of BIRN’s ongoing Minority Training and Reporting project.

Nis Training

The group comprised four Albanian and two Serbian journalists who work for local electronic and print media outlets in Bujanovac, Presevo and Vranje.

The journalists were: Rijad Destani of Albanian TV Spektri; Faruk Daliu of RTV Bujanovac; Skender Saqipi and Fesnike Rexhepi from the Albanian weekly Perspektiva; Nikola Lazic from the weekly Novine Vranjske; and Ardita Behluli and Ivica Stepanovic from RTV Presevo.

Over the course of the three-day training session, BIRN editor-in-chief, Gordan Igric, and the director of BIRN Serbia, Dragana Nikolic Solomon, discussed how to write features and news analysis and pointed out common mistakes.

Jeta Xhara, BIRN Kosovo director, gave the participants tips on interviewing techniques based on her experience of hosting a highly successful TV debate show in Kosovo.

Miroslav Jankovic from Youth Initiative for Human Rights, YIHR, talked to the group about access to information legislation and journalists’ rights.

Igric held a session on libel law and why it’s important to understand it in advance of Serbia’s integration into Europe.

Nikolic Solomon spoke about the importance of steering away from hate speech and stereotypes when writing articles, especially in post-conflict societies such as Presevo.

Vukasin Obradovic, editor-in-chief of Novine Vranjske, discussed his own experience of editing the multi-ethnic monthly Korak – Hapi, urging the group to write as professionals, not as Albanians or Serbs.

Suzana Trninic, a B92 radio editor, held a session on election coverage and provided tips on how the journalists could improve their contacts with mainstream parties in Belgrade.

During the last day of training, Igric and Nikolic Solomon worked with journalists on the preparation of articles on South Serbia, due to be published beginning of January.

Those who attended the workshop thought it very useful.

“I think we learned a lot from the experienced journalists who trained us in Nis. The knowledge we gained in the last few days will be very useful for our day-to-day work,” said Saqipi.

The workshop was organised with the help of British Embassy in Belgrade as well as the National Endowment for Democracy, NED in Washington.

BIRN BiH to run media and war crimes training in Uganda

BIRN BiH is to extend its successful training model to journalists reporting war crimes issues to Uganda.

BIRN BiH is to extend its successful training model to journalists reporting war crimes issues to Uganda.
BIRN Justice Africa project will mentor Ugandan journalists reporting the International Criminal Court, ICC. The one-week intensive course will see BIRN’s unique approach to training court reporters in the
Balkans adapted to Ugandan media’s and ICC’s needs.
The training in Uganda is the first time BIRN has transferred the experiences of Balkan journalists reporting on war crimes issues to colleagues dealing with similar issues in other post-conflict countries.

The first stage of BIRN Justice Africa is being supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, War Crimes Office in London and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
To find out more about BIRN’s activities in the transitional justice sector please contact Nerma Jelacic, BIRN BiH director at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>

BIRN BiH director at war crimes conference in Banja Luka

Nerma Jelačić, direktorica BIRN
BiH, učestvovala je na konferenciji o ratnim zločinima, održanoj 9. decembra
ove godine u Banja Luci.

Nerma Jelačić,
direktorica BIRN BiH, učestvovala je na konferenciji o ratnim zločinima,
održanoj 9. decembra ove godine u Banja Luci.

naslovljena «Preduslovi za izgradnju mira u Bosni i Hercegovini», okupila je
predstvanike nevladinih organizacija, udruženja žrtava i mlade aktiviste iz
sjeverozapadnih dijelova Republike Srpske.


Jelačić je
govorila o vladavini prava i suđenjima za ratne zločine u Bosni i Hercegovini.
Drugi panelista, Srđan Puhalo, psiholog iz Banja Luke, govorio je o
percepcijama prošlosti u različitim lokalnim zajednicama u zemlji.


Konferencija je
održana u organizaciji Helsinškog komiteta za ljudska prava Republike Srpske.

BIRN Rapporteur at International Conference

BIRN was commissioned by the Grantmakers East Group, GEG, to monitor and report on its 11th annual meeting, held October 18-20 in Belgrade.

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The conference, entitled “Philanthropy and Participation – From Expectations to Practice”, addressed the challenges facing donors in promoting the development of civil society in South, Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The GEG annual meeting provides a forum for its members to increase the effectiveness of their grantmaking efforts and to encourage new donor activity in the region.

For more information about GEG, and to read the BIRN conference report published last week, click here: www.efc.be/geg.

Enquiries about BIRN’s consultancy services should be directed to Gordana Igric, BIRN Regional Network Director, [email protected].

Carla’s List Premieres in Sarajevo

On November 30, BIRN BiH director Nerma Jelacic moderated a panel discussion following the premiere of Carla’s List, a documentary about the work of Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Panelists included Del Ponte, Bosnian court president Meddzida Kreso and chief prosecutor Marinko Jurcevic.

The hundred-strong audience included representatives of victims’ groups from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, non-governmental
organisations, media and the diplomatic community.

Organised by the Swiss Embassy in Sarajevo, the screening marked the regional premiere of Carla’s List, which will also be shown in Croatia and Serbia.

BIRN BiH Director in Bijeljina

Nerma Jelacic, director of BIRN BiH, was a panelist on a live
television debate about dealing with the past in Bijeljina.

Organised by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika
Srpska, the series of debates screened on BNTV gather experts in the
field of transitional justice to discuss Bosnia’s struggle to deal
with the legacy of war.

Other panelists at the debate aired on November 25 included Mirsad
Tokaca of the Research and Documentation Centre; Dragan Banjac, a
freelance journalist from Serbia; Tamira Kaliterna, an activist with
Women in Back in Belgrade, and Zoran Pusic from Zagreb.

Nerma Jelacic on the Board of The Youth Initiative For Human Rights

BIRN BiH director Nerma Jelacic was elected to the governing board of
the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), a Belgrade-based
non-governmental organisation.

On November 11, Jelacic attended the organisation’s general assembly
meeting at which she was appointed to the board along with Slavica
Brajovic, Argjentina Grazhdani, Zorica Trifunovic, Senad Sabovic and
Vukosava Crnjansk.

YIHR aims to include young people in the various processes of
transitional justice through the promotion of truth-telling
mechanisms, the protection of victims of human rights violations, and
the establishment of new bonds among post-war generations in the

RFE Interview BIRN Kosovo Journalist

Krenar Gashi, BIRN Kosovo Assistant Editor, was interviewed by the Serbian programme of Radio Free Europe on a BIRN investigation into the illegal trade in passports.

Gashi, who co-authored the report, “Ex-policemen Run Kosovo Passports Scam”, spoke about the desperate situation of people who try to get hold of passports illegally and the lengths they go to acquire them. He also discussed the way he went about researching the report.

The RFE interview followed extensive republication of the December 1 BIRN investigation in most of the daily newspapers in Kosovo and Albania.

BIRN Macedonia Trainees Complete “Success Stories” Workshop

young journalists from print and broadcast media in Macedonia attended a workshop
organised by the Office of Public Affairs of the US Embassy and BIRN Macedonia,
aimed at encouraging media to include more features and positive stories in
their output.

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one-week training session, held the week beginning November 20, included
lectures, held by Professor Silcock and BIRN Director for Macedonia, Ana
Petruseva, and practical work.

As a
result of the training, the journalists produced three television and five
print stories, which were presented at the end of the workshop. They ranged
from a story on a civic initiative providing a playground for the young in Skopje, a man who lost
his job and went on to become a successful farmer, to a famous acting family
which takes care of stray dogs.

of the stories have already been published while others will be published in
the next week in the media where the journalists work: the dailies Dnevnik,
Vest and Vreme; A1 TV, Channel 5 TV and ALSAT-M TV; the state news agency MIA;
the economic web portal Total; and the weekly Capital. The stories will also be
published on the BIRN Macedonia home page.

the end of the workshop, the US Embassy in Skopje awarded a Certificate of Completion to
each of the trainees.