The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro expressing their grave concerns on the ongoing trial against investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic.
“Together with our affiliate the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), we wish to recall our letter of 2 September, in which we raised our concern over the arrest of detention of Mr. Martinovic for membership of a criminal organisation and drug offences, despite compelling evidence which shows he was only doing his job as an undercover investigative journalist.”
At the beginning of the year Martinovic received a conditional release, while the trial will continue on April 11. The EFJ and IFJ urge the government to ensure that the court of justice will be allowed to do its work with integrity and independence without political interference and pressure. This case may not only put the reputable investigative journalist in prison, but defer other journalists from doing this type of investigative journalism.
Martinovic’s case was submitted to the Council of Europe platform on the Promotion of Journalism and the Protection of Journalists in April 2016. However, the government claimed in its letter dated December 1, 2016 that “the criminal offence for which Jovo Martinovic has been indicted has nothing to do with journalist’s profession”.