Ana Lalic, the Novar.rs portal journalist said after her release on Thursday that she did not regret writing the story about the situation in the Vojvodina Clinical Center which got her arrested.
Lalic was arrested on the night of Wednesday-Thursday in her home and her laptop and mobile phones were seized after the Vojvodina Clinical Center reported her to the police for allegedly causing panic with her report that medical staff at the center were not getting basic protective equipment. She was arrested and ordered into 48 hour custody.
“I am convinced that we are doing the right thing and I see that in the reactions of medical staff from all over Vojvodina after the story was published on the portal,” Nova.rs reported her as saying.
“Six of them came to my apartment and it seemed very scary. They searched everything, every part of the apartment and the car. They seized by phone and laptop and they are still in the police,” she said and added that the police took a statement from her which lasted till 2:00 am and then took her to a cell “which was so dirty that I had to disinfect it with alcohol”. “I spent the night on the edge of the bed. They questioned me again in the morning and released me. Some of them apologized to me in private and I could see that they were embarrased,” Lalic said. She said that the police officers and prosecutor behaved appropriately.
Lalic said that she has witnesses for everything that she wrote and that she sent questions to the Vojvodina Clinical Center and the provincial Health Care Secretariat to their email addresses. She also phoned the Clinical Center PR service several times but no one answered.
“As soon as the story was published on the portal, I started getting reactions from medical staff and their families through friends and acquaintances with claims that the situation is worse than I wrote. Even a woman from Kikinda called saying she is worried about her daughter who works at the clincal center. All those messages are in my phone and the police and prosecutor can see them,” Lalic said.