Zoran Pasalic, Serbia’s Ombudsman, said on Thursday that every attack on journalists either by physical threats or political and economic pressures silenced the freedom of speech and the spirit of criticism, the Beta news agency reported.
Speaking ahead of November 2, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, Pasalic said it was “disappointing and above all worrying” that that day in Serbia saw a new example of a call for lynching some reporters and media, “branding them the enemies of the state.”
Pasalic referred to a scandal triggered by an article in the Ilustrovana Politika weekly headlined “Dogs are unleashed.”
He said that since the beginning of this year there were 73 attacks on journalists, including both verbal threats and physical attacks.
“The respective state institutions are obliged to protect the endangered journalists and secure the conditions in which they will freely and professionally do their job, while those who attack them should be brought to justice,” Pasalic said.