OSCE MISSION TO BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
POLICE GUIDELINES IN DEALING WITH THE MEDIA
Both the Police and the Media have legitimate, professional aims and tasks, which must be respected and appreciated in order to accomplish successful and mutually useful co-operation.
Both the Police and the Media must behave in accordance with the Law.
1. Police should know journalists’ rights, including:
- right to freedom of expression
- right to freedom of movement, as well as right to travel through the country without obstructions. Journalists cannot and should not be arrested without specific legitimate reason
- right to print, distribute and sell publications and to broadcast program without punishment or involvement of police and government.
2. Police cannot ask from journalists to register when they are performing their jobs unless the special licence is required (for example, the crime scene). Journalists or citizens must not approach places that are legitimately and clearly enclosed or marked.
3. Police cannot be involved or cannot punish journalists during their performing of tasks. “Journalists have right to take photos, to record, make notes, observe, make interviews and/or make reports without asking for promotion of government or police…”.
4. Police cannot take away equipment or materials from journalists unless there is a court order or decree. Confiscated materials under the Criminal Law or materials that might be useful in court procedure can be temporarily taken away and submitted to the court for keeping.
5. Police can require from journalists to reveal only their Journalists’ ID when a journalist is asking to approach place or events open to journalists, but closed for public. A professional card containing the name and photo, as well as the name, address, logo and official stamp of the media is sufficient for verification of the professional identity.
6. The identity of a police officer should be revealed to everyone on request. All local police officers and persons temporary authorised to perform officers’ duties must wear ID card issued by their Police Station.
7. Police cannot force a journalist to reveal a confidential source of information.
8. Police should take utmost care to investigate all facts, either real or potential ones, regarding violence, intimidation or abuse of employees of media outlets or in cases of destruction of media equipment.