Coe Co-Rapporteurs Concerned over Probe into Media, NGO in Serbia | Beta Briefing

Coe Co-Rapporteurs Concerned over Probe into Media, NGO in Serbia

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 31.07.20 | access_time 12:24

Council of Europe

Ian Liddell-Grainger and Piero Fassino, monitoring co-rapporteurs for Serbia in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, voiced concern on July 31 over inquiry into the finances of prominent non-governmental organizations and media in Serbia.

"We are deeply concerned about the information that financial investigations were launched by the Serbian Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering against over 50 prominent activists, NGOs and investigative media, including the 2019 PACE Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize winner Youth Initiative for Human Rights," a press release read.

Grainger and Fassino stressed that "a lively democracy needs a vibrant civil society and independent media which can operate in a safe environment," adding that "non-governmental organizations and investigative media contribute to ensure a sound scrutiny of public institutions leading to the necessary checks and balances in a democratic society."

"While transparency of all organisations and institutions is a legitimate and necessary requirement, any investigation should be duly substantiated, based on clear and legal criteria," the statement notes, urging Serbian authorities "to refrain from any move that could amount to an act of intimidation or lead to the unfounded criminalization of these organizations."

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