The Serbian authorities should thoroughly investigate a death threat made against staff at the privately owned N1 TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a press release on Thursday, adding that the police have arrested a person suspected of writing the threatening letter.
The press release said that the letter claimed to have been written by members of a war veterans organization whose president denied any involvement, adding that it arrived on the day that President Aleksandar Vucic described the station as anti-government. “The president's press office did not immediately respond to CPJ's email requesting comment,” it said.
"We welcome the quick response from the Serbian police and call on them to fully investigate the threat," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Coordinator Gulnoza Said said, adding that government officials should be aware of the consequences hostile rhetoric can have on the media.
The press office of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs also did not immediately respond to CPJ's emailed questions on the police investigation.
In response to recent remarks and hostility to the press Zeljko Bodrozic, vice-president of the Western Balkans' regional platform for advocating media freedom and journalists' safety, a network of journalist unions and associations, said in a statement emailed to CPJ that such public statements by the state officials encourage threats and attacks on journalists.