The assault on Bulgarian investigative journalist Hristo Geshov on 10 May 2018 marks the 61st physical assault on a journalist reported to Mapping Media Freedom since the start of 2018.
In Montenegro – NATO member country and EU candidate – attacks against the press are numerous and a journalist may be imprisoned for his investigative work.
Independent journalist Jovo Martinovic’s arrest with 13 other individuals during a joint Croatian and Montenegrin police operation on 22 October 2015 began an ongoing ordeal. Martinovic was taken into custody “on reasonable suspicion that he committed criminal offence – creation of criminal organisation and unauthorised production, possession and distribution of narcotics”, according to Montenegro’s ministry of justice. Media reports explained the case more colloquially: Martinovic was detained for allegedly facilitating a meeting between drug dealers and buyers, and helping them to install a messaging app on their smartphones that is allegedly untraceable by the police.
An unprecedented series of crackdowns on media professionals and news outlets took place in Europe during the third quarter of 2016 as recorded by Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project. Between 1 July and 30 September MMF’s network of correspondents, partners and other sources submitted a total of 406 verified reports of threats to press freedom, a 19% rise from the second quarter of 2016.