Journalist Philippe Bertinchamps Threatened with Expulsion in Serbia

Update: 23 Feb 2018 Resolved
Year 19 Feb 2018 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
19 Feb 2018 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

In February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps, a Belgrade-based Belgian journalist working for various French-speaking media outlets is threatened with expulsion after the Serbian interior minister (MUP) rejected his second request for a temporary residence permit. If deported, the journalist will be separated from his family living in Serbia. The authorities are accusing him of being an "obstacle to public order and national security". Mr. Bertinchamp's application for a temporary residence permit on preservation of familiy unity grounds was rejected by the MUP in April 2017 and again on 8 January 2018 with no explanation. A Serbian administrative court ruled in his favour in November 2017, agreeing the authorities needed to provide grounds for their rejection of his appeal. Mr. Bertinchamps has been covering Serbia and Western Balkans for the last ten years without ever coming into conflict with the law.

Resolved In light of the developments of 19 February 2018, which allowed the journalist to remain in the country, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.


New 19 Feb 2018 : On 19 February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps was delivered a residence visa for a year.


New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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Factsheet on detention with a view to expel, return, transfer or extradite a person to another country