26 Apr 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 27 Jun 2018 n° 59/2018 Montenegro

Head of Public Broadcaster Sacked

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index RSF
Partner Index RSF
On 7 June 2018, The Council of the Montenegrin public broadcaster RTCG dismissed director Andrijana Kadija, an action seen by the local civil community and journalists as an attempt by ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) to stifle editorial independence, news website tol.org reported. The ostensible reason given for Kadija's dismissal was abuse of office and unprofessionalism, Montenegrin media reported. Six members of the RTCG Council voted to dismiss Kadija, and two voted against her dismissal. Kadija said that the RTCG Council's decision was political in nature and undermined the independence of the public broadcaster. “My only sin is that I am apolitical… I wanted a professional public service for all citizens, and while I was running it, our public service was truly independent. You are not dismissing me as incompetent, but as politically unsuitable”, CDM.me quoted her as saying during the Council meeting. As the RTCG Council met to vote on Kadija's dismissal, about 100 people gathered outside the body's headquarters to protest in support of her, Radio Free Europe reported. According to the same source, the Montenegrin Journalists' Association said RTCG staff were working under “tremendous political pressure” from the government, making it “difficult for reporters and editors to do their jobs professionally.” The European Union issued a statement in which it said that the dismissal of Kadija was “completely unacceptable” and went “against freedom of expression and media which is a fundamental value of the European Union”, news website EUobserver reported.
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