Esad Kocan, Godocelj, Montenegro

Esad Kočan, born on 1.01.1956 in Godočelj, Montenegro, graduated from Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje 1980.

He worked as a journalist in “Pobjeda”; he was Deputy Editor of Political – Information Program of TV Montenegro. One of the founders of “Monitor” and War Editor-in-Chief of Montenegrin independent Weekly “Monitor” from 1992. Today he is Editor-in-Chief of Montenegrin Independent Weekly “Monitor” and lecturer at the Media Institut of Montenegro. He lives and works in Podgorica.

The Duško Kondor Award for Affirmation of Civil Courage is given to Esad Kočan, from Podgorica, Montenegro, because, although he was aware of the risks, he affirmed civil courage in the period since 1988 by:

  • Paying his civil disobedience and non-acceptance of political dictate by his removal from the position of editor-in-chief of political – information program of TV Montenegro in 1988.
  • As he was aware of destructive force of the then political ideology dictated from Belgrade and Podgorica, he became a co-founder of Montenegrin independent weekly “Monitor” with the goal of objective, impartial and independent reporting for the citizens of Montenegro.
  • Writing and publishing impressive number of articles and columns in which, with no fear for consequences, he revealed, named and disclosed different negative phenomena in social – political milieu of Monte Negro and SFRY.
  • During the wars in Croatia, BiH and Kosovo, as a journalist and an editor-in-chief of Montenegrin independent weekly “Monitor”, in his articles and columns, he continuously and consistently presented his views against the wars and ardently promoted an anti-war option as the only possible and moral one.
  • In the last twenty three years of his work, he was committed to active affirmation of civil courage through his own example of a journalist who does not give up presenting truth in the most dangerous times in which the carriers of the policy of evil, wars, destructions, and killings even threw bombs on the office of the Montenegrin independent weekly “Monitor”, harassed and beat up journalists, making lists of citizens who were buying “Monitor”.
  • He sacrificed four years of his peaceful family life as he was forced to send his wife and six-month-old daughter abroad for six months in 1992, to protect them from persecutions and to be able to fight actively as a journalist for his ideals of peace, against the war in BiH and thereby affirm civil courage.
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