14 Jun 2021 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 18 May 2020 n° 58/2020 Serbia

KRIK Targeted by a Smear Campaign after Investigation

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 ECPMF
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 ECPMF
On 5 May 2020, the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) published a new investigative story entitled “Gangsters and Hooligans: Key Players in the Balkan Cocaine Wars”, focusing on the rivalry between two crime groups from Montenegro. The investigation reveals short profiles and past history of key clans' leaders and their connections to the police and politicians in the region. In particular, the son of Serbian President Vučić, Danilo Vučić, is mentioned for his acquaintance with a key member of a football hooligan group connected to one of the clans.

Following the publication of the investigation, Serbian political leaders and media accused journalists of lying, discrediting authorities and targeting the President’s son on behalf of the opposition. The daily Kurir qualified the investigation as “the most heinous attack aimed at criminalising and satanising the President’s son.” Maja Gojković, president of Serbia’s parliament, also released a statement condemning the story as politically motivated. Nebojša Stefanović, Minister of the Interior, told local media that KRIK had placed “a target on the forehead of Danilo Vučić, directly endangering his life.”

KRIK journalists have received different kind of threats as a result of the smear campaign.

The Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS) condemned “the behavior of the highest state officials and calls on them to stop attacking and pressuring journalists and spinning and diverting public attention from important discoveries on some secondary topics.”
State replies
14 Jun 2021
Open in a new window show-link