16:42 GMT30 October 2020
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    International human rights organizations on Monday called on Montenegro to release an investigative journalist, who is held in detention for 11 months for alleged trafficking of drugs.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Human Rights Watch (HRW) together with the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders wrote a joint letter to the Montenegrin prime minister, demanding the release of journalist Jovo Martinovic, who is pending trial for almost a year on suspicion of participating in drug trafficking. According to the organization, no real evidence of the journalist’s engagement into a criminal activity were presented.

    "We urge the relevant authorities to release Martinovic immediately and to provide his attorney with all evidence against him… If the prosecutor persists with the charges to trial, it is essential that the trial complies with international standards, including rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights," the letter says.

    Martinovic denies the allegations, explaining his alleged contacts with criminals by his journalistic work. He has done major investigations about crime networks, war criminals and corruption in the Balkans with publications in a wide range of international media.

    The authorities arrested Martinovic and other 17 suspects in October 2015 for alleged participation in a drug trafficking gang.

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    Human Rights Watch, Jovo Martinovic, Montenegro
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