Human Rights House Award BIRN’s Natalija Jovanovic

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Human Rights House in Serbia, marking International Human Rights Day on December 10, awarded BIRN journalist Natalija Jovanovic for her outstanding commitment to the protection, respect and promotion of human rights.

Jovanovic authored an important exposé of data concealment in Serbia on the real COVID-19 death toll.

The article, Serbia Under-Reported COVID-19 Deaths and Infections, Data Shows, published on June 22 this year, showed that the COVID 19 death toll from March 19 to June 1 was significantly higher than was officially reported.

Human Rights House in Serbia said it wanted to encourage journalists’ work that does not accept censorship and always questions official truths, which is why it awarded this journalist this year.

“One of the foundations of the democratic order of every community, which the government and centres of power in Serbia have for years tried to silence and overthrow is freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

“There are no free peoples or free society without freedom of speech. The right to freely express one’s opinion without the fear of retaliation or sanction, is, as well, the right to objective and timely inform,” it said.

Human Rights House Foundation is an Oslo-based network of 17 CSOs across Europe in 11 countries dedicated to building democratic and open societies founded on unconditional respect for human rights and the rule of law. Network members in Serbia are Civic Initiatives, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Helsinki Committee, YUCOM – Lawyers’ committee for human rights and Policy Center.