Reporting on Freedom of Expression with Youth Initiative for Human Rights

In Kosovo the state of freedom of media and expression has worsened. Individual journalists are beeing subjected to threats and pressure by the government. There are also problems with political affiliations of the media and inaction of the police and the courts in the face of violations of media freedom. Therefore we assessed that there is a need to carry out a thorough research about the present situation related to freedom of expression in Kosovo.

In cooperation with YIHR we will produce a comprehensive report, with a particularly focus on media freedom, interviews with editors-in-chief and other stakeholders and an analysis of documented statements from journalists who have been subject to threats and pressure.

In May 2010 the report State of Constriction was published and presented at a press conference in Pristina. Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders attended the conference.

A few days later, one of the authors of the report was attacked in media. We, and others, reacted by expressing our concern regarding the continuous threats against human rights defenders in Kosovo.

Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Kosovo is a branch of YIHR Belgrade which was founded in 2003 by youth activists from Serbia and Kosovo for the purpose of establishing new bonds between youths in the region. In 2004 the Kosovo office was established, mainly focusing on training of young people to promote human rights education, democracy, equality and the promotion of human rights.