Media freedom alerts

 

Serbian Journalist Predrag Blagojević Assaulted by Police at a Music Festival over Identification

Update: 23 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 25 Aug 2015 Country Serbia Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
25 Aug 2015 Serbia A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

Predrag Blagojević, editor of the Juzne Vesti website was the victim of police violence at a music festival on the night of Saturday 15 August 2015. Blagojević, who had previously received threats, recounted the incident to media, saying that a police officer at the festival asked for his identity. When the journalist presented his international accreditation card, the officer took him to a police van and hit him twice on the head, warning the reporter “not to act smart”. Blagojević was also prevented from using his phone to contact anyone who could confirm his identity. He was later taken to the local police station where officers finally checked his papers. Following media reports of this attack and the outrage by the journalists’ unions, the chief of police in Nishville, Srdjan Grekulovic, announced the launch of an investigation into the incident.

State replies

24 Nov 2015 : Reply from the Republic of Serbia provided by the Ministry of Interior

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
25 Aug 2015 : OSCE media freedom representative calls for full investigation into police attack on journalist in Serbia

Journalists from Magločistač News Portal Receive Death Threats

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 21 Sep 2017 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
21 Sep 2017 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Level 1
No reply yet

On 4 September 2017, journalists and media workers working for the Serbian Subotica Magločistač news portal received explicit death threats following the publication of an article entitled “We are all Gosa workers, and all the rulers are Labans” (Svi smo mi radnici Goše, a vladari Labani). The team of journalists was threatened with harsh words in the comments section. The article referred to the death threats made by Bogdan Laban, the mayor of Subotica, directed against one of his party colleagues, Magločistač news portal reported about that event.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Serbian Weekly ‘Vranjske Novine’ Closed Following Administrative Harassment

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 25 Sep 2017 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
25 Sep 2017 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2
No reply yet

Serbian weekly Vranjske novine will cease publishing, announced founder and editor-in-chief Vukasin Obradovic on 18 September. The paper claims it has been subject to intense political and economic pressures, including financial inspections allegedly aimed at compromising its finances. According to the Independent Journalists’ Association (NUNS), Vranjske novine has been subjected to political and economic pressure since its creation in 1994, as the weekly is known for revealing abuse of public office, such as corruption and organised crime. Obradovic, his family and his colleagues experienced multiple non-investigated instances of harassment and persecution, ranging from repeated direct threats, car tampering, offices robbed, to inspections and controls leading to the economic suffocation of the newspaper, peaking this year. A recent attempt to inspect Vranjske beginning on 16 August 2017, was followed by an unexpected financial inspection on 4 September. NUNS states that although the inspections are legitimate, the question is whether they were prompted by the publication of an interview with a former Vranje Tax Authority head. Soon after the publication, Obradovic was warned off the record, to expect an inspection with the intention of harassing the newspaper. He wrote in an open letter to the tax administration authority published on 21 September, that Vranjske has been operating in accordance with the law since its creation. Vukasin Obradovic received many awards for his investigative work. In 2009, he was awarded OSCE media personality of the year. He was also President of NUNS, between 2010 and February 2017.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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