Sandzak and South Serbia Journalists Study War Crimes Reporting

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Belgrade _ BIRN Serbia together with the OSCE mission in Serbia organised a three day study visit for journalists from South and Southwest Serbia on reporting war crimes trials.

The event gathered eight journalists who work for print and electronic media from Presevo, Bujanovac, Novi Pazar, Tutin and Raska.

The first session at the OCSE mission was focused on general issues: journalists were introduced to the basics of international law standards and practice in the context of war crimes prosecutions trials in Serbia over the last decade.

Following this, Matthias Hellmann from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia office in Belgrade presented the work of The Hague tribunal and Dusan Ignjatovic from the National office for cooperation with the tribunal presented the work of this Serbian institution.

“It was substantively important for us to hear first hand how some institutions work,” said Baki Rexhepi from TV Spektri in Bujanovac.

On the second day, participants were taken to the District court, Chamber for war crimes, where they had meetings with the president of the court, representatives of the prosecutor’s office and followed current, ongoing trials.

“Being in the court was crucial for this study tour,” said journalist Nikola Lazic from Bujanovac.

On the third and final day, participants followed the morning session in the court and in the afternoon session they had opportunity to meet colleagues from Belgrade-based media.

Aleksandar Roknic from the Danas daily introduced them to techniques of court reporting. Milos Milic, B92 editor, gave a presentation on The Hague tribunal and the role of the media who report from there while Misa Stojiljkovic explained the techniques of interviewing the victims.