Reporters Without Borders hails last week’s decision by parliament to withdraw two articles from a criminal code reform under which journalists could have been given jail sentences for "offences committed via the media" or for refusing to reveal their sources.
The two articles, 37 and 38, were adopted in April but were never put into effect. Parliament failed to impose them twice, in April and June, because of opposition from the president and from grass-roots campaigns.Reporters Without Borders voiced repeated concern about these articles, which would have created a particularly difficult working environment for the media, and welcomes the decision to drop them, taken on 19 October.
"We will nonetheless pay close attention to the evolution of the media freedom situation in Kosovo, which has not improved significantly since our last fact-finding mission in July 2010 ," Reporters Without Borders said.
"Proceeding with the necessary legislative and legal reforms is unquestionably an essential first step but it is the way they are implemented that will allow us to determine whether Kosovo’s politicians and judges really want to move on from the really bad practices pursued until now."