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The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA)

Commission is apolitical and carries out its investigative activities independently from any government. Through its work CIJA provides support for local capacity building, war crimes and counterterrorism investigations, and countering violent extremism (CVE) programmes. The post The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) appeared first on BIRN.

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Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence 2018 — Winners Chosen

Ciobanu won the award of 4,000 euros for her investigation into global ties between ultra-conservative groups waging war on gay marriage and gender rights in the Balkans — and the movement’s corrosive effects on democracy. Serbian investigative journalists grabbed second and third prizes. Ivana Jeremic won 3,000 euros for her meticulous reporting on hooliganism in Serbia while Andjela Milivojevic got 1,000 euros for her work exploring political violence in lawless northern Kosovo. Jury members praised Ciobanu for revealing how a growing network of ultra-conservative activists, lawyers and consultants is sharing strategy and resources across borders in a bid to defend what they call the “natural family”. Her investigation, ‘New World Order’: The ‘Natural Family’ Franchise Goes Global, reveals webs of influence extending as far as US evangelical groups close to the Trump White House and Russian oligarchs with links to the Kremlin. It also highlights how populist leaders are jumping on..

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BIRN Report Says Media Freedom Declining in Serbia

A BIRN report on the media in Serbia, presented on Wednesday, emphasises a decline in freedom of expression and media pluralism, citing an absence of social, political and economic conditions conducive to the development of a professional and sustainable media sector. “This report focuses primarily on the allocation of state funds in the media sector, as BIRN’s long-term monitoring indicates that this is one of the key preconditions for the economic sustainability of media outlets, and, as such, a powerful instrument of misuse and corruption,” it reads. According to the report, independent media and journalistic organizations monitoring the allocation of funds reported abuses in the distribution of some 10 million euros in the media sector. BIRN has submitted the report to the EU Delegation in Serbia as its contribution to the compilation of Serbia’s next European Commission Country Report. It was produced in partnership with the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia and t..

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BIRN Kosovo Marks International Human Rights Day

Participants in the International Human Rights Day event, including representatives of marginalised groups and human rights advocates, made speeches at the National Theatre of Kosovo on Monday. Following the speeches, they marched from Skenderbeu Square to Zahir Pajaziti Square, supported by various NGOs that deal with women’s rights, children, retirees, minorities and LGBT issues. BIRN Kosovo produced seven video clips in Albanian and Serbian aimed at raising awareness of the situation of children, youth, women, Roma Ashkali and Egyptian communities, the LGBTI community, people with disabilities and senior citizens in Kosovo. The clips were played at the event organised by the Ombudsperson, posted on BIRN Kosovo’s KALLXO.com site and broadcast on Public Radio Television of Kosovo. December 10 is marked around the world as International Human Rights Day, commemorating the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted at the UN General Assembly on December 1..

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Aleksandra Jankovic

Before BIRN, she worked for the digital agency Homepage as a digital accountant; Pristop, consulting and communications company, as a PR assistant; and the news portal Portal Mladi as a deputy editor. From the University of Belgrade, Department of Political Sciences she has a BA in journalism and an MA in international politics. Aleksandra speaks Serbian, English, and German. The post Aleksandra Jankovic appeared first on BIRN.

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Call for Proposals Aimed to Strengthen Independent Journalism in Kosovo

“Contribute to strengthening independent, investigative and publicly beneficial journalism and freedom of expression in Kosovo” Deadline for applying 28 December 2018 at 4 PM. BIRN and AJK have teamed up once again to implement the EU-funded project entitled “Contribute to strengthening independent, investigative and publicly beneficial journalism and freedom of expression in Kosovo”. One of the project’s components is this Call for Proposals aiming to provide opportunities for local NGOs/CSOs, including journalists, who operate and work in Kosovo, tackling issues related to media and freedom of expression in their respective communities. The scheme seeks to develop independent, investigative, impartial, unbiased, publicly beneficial journalism and equip the beneficiaries with the required skills and resources to implement creative, investigative, legally sound and publicly beneficial journalism. This Call for Proposals contains two lots: LOT I: Supporting the production of new co..

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BIRN Editor Talks About Transitional Justice at Leipzig Conference

Dzidic spoke about the role of media in peace-building and how reporting on transitional justice topics can assist reconciliation in a post-conflict society. The ‘Correcting Images’ conference is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and the German Academic Exchange Service. It was organised by Engagement Global in cooperation with the universities of Munich, Leipzig and Bamberg, the German School of Journalism and the Deutsche Welle Academy. Its aim is to promote accurate images of developing countries in Germany and to motivate the general public to contribute to global reconstruction for social justice. The conference provides a forum for dialogue on global issues between participants, especially young students of journalism and journalists from the North and South. The post BIRN Editor Talks About Transitional Justice at Leipzig Conference appeared first on BIRN.

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BIRN Bosnia Celebrates 100th Edition of ‘TV Justice’

The 100th edition covered judicial institutions’ reluctance to share information and the fact that they use internal regulations to limit media access to court processes. Problems facing journalists in their everyday work include inaccessible indictments, anonymised verdicts, low-quality recordings from trials lasting ten minutes only, and the refusal by judicial officials to give interviews or make public appearances. All this is happening despite the fact that the Bosnian laws stipulate that trials should be public and the international standards call for transparency, which means quick responses to inquiries, as well as the availability of indictments and verdicts. Transparency was reduced in 2012 when the Agency for Protection of Personal Data submitted letters to the state court and prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, telling them they do not have to automatically publish all data. The state prosecution then removed all indictments from its web page, while the Bosnian state..

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BIRN Holds Debate on Audit Reports in Gjilan/Gnjilane

The results of BIRN Kosovo’s monitoring of the implementation of audit recommendations for the Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality were presented in an open debate on November 26, with more than 30 representatives from the municipality, civil society and Auditor General in attendance. BIRN Kosovo Editor Visar Prebreza gave a brief presentation of the project and its findings, which showed that of the 45 recommendations provided to the municipality, only ten have been implemented. The Mayor of the Municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane, Lutfi Haziri, addressed the main points of the analysis and declared that for the upcoming years, work will be done to strengthen the capacities of auditing, procurement, and finance management in his municipality. A representative of the National Audit Office, Ilir Salihu, was also present to answer questions from the panel and the audience. Salihu, said that such meetings contribute to inter-institutional communication, transparency, and clarifications that migh..

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BIRN Holds Debate on Audit Reports in Prizren

The outcomes of the analysis and monitoring were presented in an open debate with more than 20 participants from the municipality, the auditors and civil society, as well as local media including RTK and TV Prizreni. Kreshnik Gashi, editor and moderator of BIRN Kosovo’s TV programme ‘Justice in Kosovo’, gave a brief presentation on the project and the findings of the analysis on the audit of the municipality. The mayor of Prizren, Mytaher Haskuka, then discussed the situation with the implementation of recommendations from the National Audit Office. Haskuka emphasised that the crucial issue for the municipality remains the managing of contracts with economic operators – suppliers of goods, works or services. Haskuka said the reason for this is the large number of contracts compared to the small number of directorate officials who have to deal with the contracts. A representative of the National Audit Office, Ilir Salihu, was also present to answer questions from the panel and the a..

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