On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, OSCE PA’s Montella recalls assassination of Shevki Popova, urges justice

WASHINGTON, 2 November 2020 – Observing today’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Roberto Montella emphasized the vital role that journalists play bringing information to the public and stressed that much more must be done to ensure justice for the perpetrators of violence against journalists.

He highlighted in particular the case of slain ethnic Albanian journalist Shevki Popova, whose killers remain at large, and referred to a letter that he sent two months ago to Popova’s family on the 20th anniversary of his assassination on 10 September 2000 in Vushtrri/Vučitrn.

“We met in what were very challenging times,” Montella wrote to Popova’s widow and children. “In your father, I saw first of all a man of strong principles who wanted peace for his land and his people. I had the opportunity to admire his professional skills, which made him a respected journalist, reliable and careful to reporting the truth.”

“When a journalist is killed,” Montella continued, “it is not only his or her soul to perish, but also the freedom of expression of all of us.”

Montella noted that too many of Shevki’s colleagues continue to suffer from violence and intimidations because of what they report. “We are witnessing this even today, including in the OSCE region,” he wrote. “The OSCE has always been at the forefront in the fight for the protection of journalists.”

He emphasized in particular the work of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, which has a unique mandate in the vast spectrum of international bodies and organizations. “It is a topic that is central to the comprehensive concept of security which the Organization promotes, a concept focused on human security, in which freedom of expression is a milestone for peace and security,” said Montella.

According to the UN, since 2006, some 1,200 journalists have been killed for reporting the news but only one in ten cases results in a conviction.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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