SERBIA: SEEMO Expresses Concern over the New Regulations in Kula, Serbia

SERBIA, SERBIA, 18/02/2011, 15:10

The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is concerned over the new security regulations approved by the municipal authorities in the Serbian town of Kula, which impede free access to information, as guaranteed by the national laws.

On 16 February 2011, private security forces evicted journalists from the Kula municipality building because they lacked proper accreditation to cover the municipal meetings. SEEMO learned from Dragan Jovanovic, journalist with TV Kula, and one of the evicted journalists, that private security used excessive force to remove journalists from the premises. Jovanovic explained that new security regulations make it very difficult to obtain an official accreditation and cover the information on municipal meetings. It is not clear, he claims, who has to issue what certificate, who applies for the accreditation (journalists, media outlets or media owners) and who approves them. Thus, most journalists lack new accreditations.

SEEMO urges Kula authorities to allow free access to information and reconsider new regulations which impede transparency.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic called on the Kula authorities: "to allow free access to information and thus ensure transparency".

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