The Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information on Thursday sharply condemned several pro-government tabloid dailies that published front page stories about the rape of an abducted child, saying they were shameless and immoral.
The Informer, Srpski Telegraf, Kurir and Alo tabloids published what they claim is the alleged confession of the convicted rapist who recently abducted a 12 year old girl in southern Serbia confirming that he raped the girl. The tabloids drew condemnation from a number of public figures on social media.
Deputy Prime Minister and head of the government Coordination Body for Gender Equality Zorana Mihajlovic joined the condemnation of the tabloid stories. “Today’s front pages are examples of what the media should not be doing,” a statement from her cabinet said.
The ministry said that “today’s front pages of some tabloids represent the bottom of media immorality and shamelessness”. The ministry “assessed with the deepest disgust that those headlines have stepped over the boundaries of inhuman behaviour towards a minor and her parents …. Who have suffered too much for media vultures with no scruples to dig around in their wounds contrary to the law”.
Serbia’s Commissioner for Protecting Equality Brankica Jankovic also condemned the tabloids reports, saying it “crosses all lines of professional ethics and is the most severe violation of children rights.”
“This is a point on which society has to stand united and in solidarity and condemn these media misdeeds… which could turn into pre-civilization ethical dullness and immorality,” the ministry statement said adding that it will impose every measure within its competencies and expects a quick and determined reaction by the Public Prosecutor.