OSCE Welcomes Montenegro’s Decriminalization of Speech Offences

Dunja Mijatovic

Podgorica/Vienna, 11 July 2011 – The OSCE Mission to Montenegro and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, today commended Montenegro for decriminalizing defamation.

As part of a wider reform of its criminal code, Montenegro fully decriminalized libel and insult leaving them entirely a matter foPodgorica/Vienna, 11 July 2011 – The OSCE Mission to Montenegro and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, today commended Montenegro for decriminalizing defamation.

As part of a wider reform of its criminal code, Montenegro fully decriminalized libel and insult leaving them entirely a matter for civil litigation. The legislation came into effect Saturday.

“The decision is significant in creating a positive working environment in which journalists can function more freely,” said the Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Ambassador Sarunas Adomavicius. He emphasized that Montenegro has taken a positive step forward on freedom of speech.

“The possibility of facing criminal charges for expressing an opinion on a public figure causes a chilling effect on the media. It is the media’s duty in a modern democracy to encourage public debate without fear of reprisals in the criminal courts,” said Mijatovic.

 The legislation came into effect Saturday.

“The decision is significant in creating a positive working environment in which journalists can function more freely,” said the Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Ambassador Sarunas Adomavicius. He emphasized that Montenegro has taken a positive step forward on freedom of speech.

“The possibility of facing criminal charges for expressing an opinion on a public figure causes a chilling effect on the media. It is the media’s duty in a modern democracy to encourage public debate without fear of reprisals in the criminal courts,” said Mijatovic.

Source: OSCE

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