UNS: Numerous unsolved journalist murders in ex-Yugoslavia

BELGRADE - Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS) warns that numerous journalist murders that took place two decades ago across former Yugoslavia still remain unsolved.

According to the UNS records, as many as 37 journalists and media professionals engaged by the Serbian media were killed, kidnapped, went missing or lost their lives under questionable circumstances between late 1991 and 2001.

Six journalists were killed or went missing in Kosovo-Metohija alone, before, during and after the armed conflicts from 1989 to 2000, but the persons responsible were neither identified nor brought to justice in any of those cases.

Participants of the panel discussion “Journalist murders 1991-2001 - War crime or professional hazard", organized by UNS on Thursday also drew attention to other unsolved murders that received less media coverage.

Such was the case of the Serbian news desk reporter of Radio Kosovo Marjan Melonasi, who went missing in downtown Pristina on September 9, 2000 after the armed conflicts, and the Vecernje Novosti reporter Milan Zegarac, who was killed on October 7, 1991 in Vukovar, during the war in Croatia.

The unsolved crimes against journalists also include the murders of a Russian news crew in Croatia in the fall of 1991, and four members of the RTS crew on the Petrinja-Glina road in October of the same year, who were presumably attacked by Croatian military or paramilitary forces.

Dragana Bjelica of UNS noted that after that crime, Croatian weekly Slobodni Tjednik stated in an article that “spies should be shot down without a warning”.

"Unfortunately, neither military, nor police, nor prosecutorial investigation was ever conducted in Serbia,” added Bjelica.

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