16 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 04 Apr 2016 n° 45/2016 Serbia

Serbian Journalist Stevan Dojčinović Target of a Smear Campaign

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Stevan Dojčinović, an investigative journalist and editor-in-chief of KRIK (Crime and Corruption Reporting Network), working for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), was the target of several attacks, over the last months, in Serbian pro-governmental media, including the tabloid Informer. Dojčinović has been accused of collaborating with foreign secret services and there have been attempts to smear his reputation by publishing rumours about him cooperating with drug dealers and criminals. Civil Rights Defenders has condemned the attacks. “Particularly disturbing is the fact that the campaign was initiated by the act of current journalistic research and not an actual published story, which indicates that someone monitors the work of KRIK. This is an intolerable situation and must immediately stop”, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders. The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) also condemned the "lynch campaign conducted by Informer against the portal Krik.rs", and urged the Ministry of the Interior to investigate whether the information that Informer holds was received from the state authorities.
Resolved
16 Dec 2019: On 16 December 2019, given the judgment by the Belgrade Court of Appeal, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
11 Mar 2019
After being called "fake journalist", "Western spy", "mafia associate", "sadomasochist" and "terrorist", Stevan Dojčinović sued “Informer” and its editor Dragan Vucicevic. In May 2018, the Belgrade High Court ruled in his favour and fined “Informer” with RSD 130,000 (about € 1,105) for having violated his honour and reputation and RSD 20,000 (about € 170) for having violated his right to privacy. The judgment was upheld on appeal.
State replies
21 Nov 2016
Reply from the Republic of Serbia provided by the Ministry of the Interior
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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