Over 150 journalists were killed during and after the 1990s wars in the Balkans – some of them foreigners who came to cover the conflicts, but most of them citizens of the warring republics.
Some were killed while reporting from the front lines of the conflicts, while others were gunned down in the streets of their hometowns, or killed in their own offices. Amid the hysteria of nationalist unrest, journalists were seen by some as enemies who reported inconvenient truths.
What is hard to believe is that so far, there have only been convictions in two court cases against wartime fighters who were responsible for these killings.
The lack of other convictions shows that impunity for violence against reporters and other media workers has persisted for decades after the Balkan wars ended.
BIRN’s Last Despatches series tells the stories of some of these reporters, and highlights how attempts to secure justice for them have not yet succeeded – mainly because of official negligence or disinterest, or sometimes because their deaths still raise questions about people with connections to the highest levels of power in the Balkans today.
The Last Despatches series is part of BIRN’s Transitional Justice Initiative, co-funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the European Commission.
If you know of someone who you believe should be listed among the journalists and media workers killed during and after the 1990s wars in the Balkans, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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