The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, wishes to add its own expression of shock and deep regret to the widespread expressions of outrage that have greeted the news of the killing of Anna Politkovskaya, one of Russia’s most outstanding investigative journalists.
BIRN BiH director, Nerma Jelacic, spoke at a regional summer school on Transitional Justice for the judiciary on August 27 in Igalo, Montenegro. The event was organised by UNDP’s regional Transitional Justice Programme and included two seven-day training sessions for parliamentarians and the judicial representatives of the region. Jelacic spoke on the complimentarity of truth commissions and criminal justice systems in the region.
A BIRN-organised RTK debate at the Pjeter Budi Institute on July 3 looked at the problems facing the Customs Service of Kosovo, which collects 70 per cent of the revenue of the Kosovo govenment budget.
RTK, Pristina, July 3, 2006.
Another episode of the BIRN-organised “Life in Kosovo” programme was broadcast on Kosovo public television, RTK, on June 7, looking at economic life in the region.
RTK, Pristina, June 7, 2006.
A special edition of Balkan Insight examining critical issues facing post-independence Montenegro was published on June 23. The edition, Montenegro Special, comprising seven articles by BIRN journalists, followed a four-day workshop on the subject in Budva at the beginning of June, organised by BIRN Serbia
Members of the Association of Court Reporters who cover the Court of BiH held their third meeting on June 27. A list of proposals and suggestions aimed at improving the outflow of public information from the state judiciary was agreed and will be presented to the Court of BiH.
An editor with BIRN’s Justice Report, Nidzara Ahmetasevic, spoke at the conference “War crimes and media:
possibilities of establishing trust” held on May 18 and 19 in the Mediacentre Sarajevo.
Jeta Xharra, Kosovo BIRN Director, held a training session for 17 young human rights activists in Vucitern/Vushtrri on July 15, focusing on how to communicate with the media and pitch stories of human rights interest.
The BIRN team was featured in the June issue of the women’s magazine Gracija. Entitled “Women lead in Balkan Investigative Reporting Network”, the picture story presented the BIRN BiH team and its Justice Report service which is produced in Sarajevo.
Kosovo television, RTK, broadcast a BIRN-organised debate on July 19 on how politicians in the Balkans mythologise historic events, looking specifically at the Battle of Kosovo, June 28, 1389 – local Serb celebrations of which were this year attended by Serbia’s prime minister Vojislav Kostunica.
RTK, Pristina, July 19, 2006.
Reporting from the Courts project which ended last month.
An editor of BIRN’s Justice Report magazine, Nidzara Ahmetasevic, made a guest appearance on the political talk show ARENA, in Belgrade on June 29.
BIRN Macedonia has started the first part of its primary level journalism training course with an open invitation to young Macedonian journalists to develop their talents.
BIRN BiH organised a round table in Bihac, north-west BiH, on October 13 as part of its Transitional Justice project to stimulate dialogue between the new War Crimes Chamber and the Bosnian public.
BIRN Serbia is organising this October 29-30 training in investigative journalism for reporters from the southern part of the country.