BIRN director Gordana Igric participated in TransConflict’s working breakfast on Tuesday, December 4, together with Nemanja Stjepanovic from SENSE agency, on the challenges of covering transitional justice issues in the former Yugoslavia.
Igric presented BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice initiative, which aims to improve public understanding of transitional justice in former Yugoslav countries through on-line news reports, radio programmes and a TV documentary to be released next year.
Both speakers agreed that the acquittals by the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac of crimes against Serb civilians during the Croatian Army’s Operation “Oluja” [“Storm”], as well as the acquittal of Kosovo’s Ramus Haradinaj of war crimes against Serbs and non-Albanians during the Kosovo war, posed challenges when it comes to facing the past in the region.
Stjepanovic said that while the acquittal of Haradinaj was to be expected owing to the lack of fresh evidence on the part of the Hague prosecution, the EULEX mission in Kosovo and the Serbian government, the acquittal of the Croatian generals was more surprising as their indictment was supported with strong evidence.
Both speakers agreed that in both cases, the defence had been much more efficient than the prosecution.
Igric said that although the ICTY verdicts would surely affect relations between countries in the region, Serbia’s government remained determined to start membership talks with the EU.
The public saw the ICTY verdicts as backing the Croatian narrative about a defensive war, which Serbs saw as unfair, Igric noted.
TransConflict is a non-governmental organisation which undertakes conflict transformation projects and research, promoting an approach to - and understanding of - conflict that differs from traditional notions of conflict resolution.
Working breakfast – on the challenges of transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia – was organized as part of its project, ‘Understanding and combating extremism in Serbia’.
About 20 journalists and representatives from civil society held a debate on May 21 in Skopje on good governance in Macedonia.
BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina's deputy editor Denis Dzidic participated in a Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska education session in Bijeljina this week, an event being held from May 20-24 under the banner ‘Transitional Justice in Universities’.
BIRN Macedonia, together with Centre for Investigative journalism, SCOOP Macedonia and the Centre for Civil Communications launched a call for investigative stories on May 17.
Quality of life was the subject of a debate in Skopje on May 15 organised by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Macedonia in partnership with the Centre for Civil Communications, part of the USAID programme for strengthening independent media in Macedonia.
The 2013 Reporting Europe Prize has been handed to Sorana Stanescu for her story about the exploitation of migrant workers in the UK, produced under the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo and ARTICLE 19 have welcomed the draft law on the protection of journalists’ sources which was sent for its first reading by the Kosovo assembly’s media committee on April 19.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Macedonia in partnership with the Centre for Civic Communications organised a debate on May 13 in Skopje entitled ‘Detecting common issues as a basis for cooperation between journalists and non-governmental organisations about the inclusion of marginalised groups in society’.
BIRN Serbia journalist Slobodan Georgiev has won the 2013 National Investigative Journalism Award, a prize given by the Independent Association of Journalists in Serbia.
The ten reporters chosen for this year’s Balkan Fellowship of Journalistic Excellence have planned their assignments over the course of an intensive three-day seminar in Vienna.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network - Macedonia in partnership with the Center for Civic Communications, CCC, organized a debate on April 29 in Skopje entitled “Detecting common issues as a basis for cooperation between journalists and non-governmental organizations about environmental issues”.