What causes the bad atmosphere in the media and in public speech on social networks, an N1 crew asked the Serbian president and instead of getting an opinion from Aleksandar Vucic he came up with a new verbal attack.
Dasko Milinovic, a journalist and co-host of the radio tandem Dasko and Mladja, was arrested, according to a police statement, on suspicion of threatening to kill ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) MP Vladimir Djukanovic. He was first questioned at the police High-Tech Crime Department and then taken to a detention unit where he spent the next 13 hours.
N1 asked the President Vucic about that case, the state of the media and the increasing frequest attacks and threats against journalists but he verbally assaulted the N1 crew. The president reserved the last week of 2018 to hand out gift parcels to children from Kosovo and he also set aside some time to answer questions from reporters.
Asked by N1 how he sees the atmosphere in the media at the end of the year and the recent threats to journalists, the banning of certain shows from some TV stations and the arrest of journalist Dasko Milinovic on suspicion of having threatened an SNS MP on Twitter, this is what he replied:
Vučić: Why don’t you tell the people what he said?
N1: I’m not here to speak, I’m here asking you.
Vučić: You’re not? And you don’t know what he said?
N1: Please answer if you can, so how….
Vučić: I’m asking you, you don’t know what he said? Tell the people since you’re always talking about journalists being arrested.
N1: So you tell us if you know.
Vučić: I won’t. I want to ask you. I’ll tell you, don’t worry.
N1: I won’t say anything, this is my colleague, there’s no reason…
Vučić: You won’t say, why? Are you ashamed?
N1: No, there’s no reason for me to talk of this, can you answer me. Vučić: Bring me a quote. He said among other things: “Boar, we’ll roast you on a spit”. Please find that for me I won’t finish until you find that quote for me. So people in Serbia can hear what you’re protecting and what you’re urging!"
The story with the arrest of the journalist and his tweets is a fierce debate between Dasko Milinovic who uses the name Zapad Todorovic on Twitter and SNS MP Vladimir Djukanovic.
It all started with Djukanovic’s Tweet to opposition MP Marinika Tepic. Tepic has been under attack for months by nationalists and supporters of the authorities. One of the slogans used in those attacks was Marinika Understand We Won’t Stop.
“A message to Marinika Tepic over her dissatisfaction with the SNS victory in Lucani - Marinika Understand We Won’t Stop,” Djukanovic Tweeted.
A lot of people reacted to that, including Milinovic who wrote: “Will this Nazi swine squeal about being threatened on the Internet? Fascist boar, we won’t tell you twice, you’ll roast on a spit.”
Both Tweets drew reactions from the Serbian police. SNS MP Djukanovic was summoned to the UBPOK (organized crime department) but we don’t know how that ended.
In an appearance on the pro-government TV Pink, the Serbian President and SNS leader showed understanding for Djukanovic’s tweet. “Are you sure it was because of that? He must have said something worse, something harder,” Vucic said on December 25.
Milinovic’s Tweet was characterized as “endangering security” and a “death threat” by the police and he was ordered into detention by the prosecutor. He was then taken before the Higher Public Prosecution with a criminal charge and released after spending 13 hours in a cell.
The Serbian president also said that anyone who made threats against journalists critical of the authorities have been caught but that the people who threatened Barbara Zivotic, a reporter for the pro-government Studio B, were not.
The atmosphere surrounding the media culminated with the burning of the house of ZIG Info portal journalist Milan Jovanovic.
According to the Reporters Without Frontiers, the worst media situation in the Balkans is in Serbia.