DAVIDDI: Media operating without fear is essential for healthy democracy

Following the meetings of journalists held in Bosnia and Herzegovina this week, particularly in Banja Luka and Sarajevo, and with further such meetings planned, Dr Renzo Daviddi, Charge d'affairs of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina gave a press release.

Daviddi stated: “We welcome the strong, visible and country-wide advocacy of the media community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a key pillar of the country's civil society. We encourage them to continue to speak out frankly on all issues of concern in the media sector.

The EU Delegation to BiH/EUSR Office stands fully behind freedom of expression, and fully supports journalists who do their job professionally. Respect for the internationally accepted principles underlying the practice of journalism is of the highest importance.

“Actions designed to intimidate media houses and individual journalists, and those who commit them, are anti-democratic and are to be condemned.

The ability of media to operate without fear and without being compelled to show favour to any side is essential for healthy democracy and freedom of expression. EUD/EUSR underlines that freedom of expression is carefully examined in the EU accession process. Actions that aim to limit media freedom are therefore actions against progress to EU membership.

“A wide range of issues have been raised by recent events including police conduct, judicial procedure, illegal surveillance allegations, breaches of fundamental rights and corruption allegations.

All these issues need to be carefully reviewed and properly investigated by the BiH authorities and law enforcement agencies. The public have a right to be informed on all the outcomes. EUD/EUSR is following all these matters closely including in the context of EU accession and expects that the BiH authorities will ensure equality of all before the law.”