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Montenegro journalists rally to demand an end to attacks on the press, more free speech

About 200 journalists have rallied in Montenegro to protest attacks on the press in this Balkan country that is seeking EU membership.

Some journalists taped their lips shut at Thursday's protest in front of the Montenegrin government building to illustrate the country's problems with freedom of speech.

The protesters have demanded that a special commission be formed to investigate unresolved attacks on the press, including the murder ten years ago of a leading editor. More recently, a crime and corruption reporter was beaten up this month, only days after an explosive device was thrown at the office of a prominent newspaper in the capital, Podgorica.

Montenegro must guarantee media freedom to advance in its bid to join the 28-nation European Union.

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