An official of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Tuesday condemned threats against journalists in Serbia.
Mehmet Koksal told a gathering in Belgrade that the EFJ would call the Serbian authorities to inform the organization of the status of all cases of attacks on journalists. He said the government should say why it is using public funds to finance media that are spreading hate speech.
Koksal said that support from fellow journalists is important following attacks like the torching of the home of Serbian local journalists Milan Jovanovic. The government is obliged to protect journalists who are doing their job, he said, adding that the EFJ will report every attack to international institutions.
Independent Journalists’ of Serbia (NUNS) Vice-President Dragan Janjic called the authorities to stop attacking the media whose reporting is critical. According to Janjic, who has received threats in his role as Beta news agency editor in chief, the messages voiced by the authorities are important. The government has a duty to solve attacks on journalists and should not tolerate threats, he said.
OSCE official in charge of media freedom Harlem Desir condemned the death threats against Nedim Sejdinovic and Dragan Janjic, saying that this is not the first time that they have faced brutal attacks and calling the authorities to investigate and provide security for journalists.
Independent Society of Journalists of Vojvodina (NDNV) President Nedim Sejdinovic said that Serbian soceity is becoming increasingly brutal and horrifying with levels of hatred and violence which could cause serious consequences. He said the organized campaign against him came every time there were protests.
N1 producer Vojislav Stevanovic told the meeting that the station has received threats and takes them seriously. He said the latest threats that the police reacted to were consequences, not causes and recalled that N1 has been labelled as the CIA TV which produces false news.