Serbian government Office for Kosovo chief Marko Djuric said on Thursday that all threats are unacceptable but did not give a clear reply when asked about the derogatory leaflets thrown into the grounds of N1 TV on Wednesday evening.
Leaflets with images of N1 Program Director Jugoslav Cosic and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama with the caption A Secret Connection were thrown into the station grounds while a pre-recorded interview with Kosovo Albanian political leader Albin Kurti was being aired. Rama and Kurti are considered by nationalists to be enemies of the Serbs. Pro-government tabloids alleged earlier in the day that Kurti was coming to Belgrade with headlines saying – Huge Scandal, Albin Kurti Coming to N1 even though the interview was recorded in Pristina.
“If I understood correctly, someone insulted your colleagues at N1. I have to say that I don’t know the details but I can say without hesitation – any insults, threats against anyone in Serbia in any way, regardless of whether they are coming from (opposition leader Dragan) Djilas’ or any other media are unacceptable,” Djuric said replying to a reporter at a news conference with officials of the Kosovo Serb List. He added that this was his principled reply.
“This is a free country. I think that President Vucic and all of us have demonstrated that answering questions which are at times very unpleasant and even politically hostile,” he said.
Leaflets saying Republic of Serbia Goodbye – N1 Welcome to Luxembourg were thrown across the fence into the N1 TV grounds by men wearing surgical masks in mid-October, passports stamped Republic of N1 were handed out at a protest in front of the Serbian government headquarters and a mock-up of a border crossing was placed in front of the gates to the station grounds.
N1 said in earlier responses to statements by ruling party officials that it is completely independent and does not allow any politician to influence its editorial policies, including Dragan Djilas. “N1 always rejects any attempt at political influence of its editorial policy regardless of which side it comes from and allegations of links to any politician or party. N1 operates as part of the United Group,” N1 said