The Western Balkans Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists' safety sharply condemned the threats to Serbia's Diretkno.rs website and called for immediate investigation and punishment of the perpetrators, and appealed with the state officials to restrain form labelling media and journalists, the FoNet news agency reported on Friday.
The website received an email on April 7, saying: 'You all should be killed and destroyed."Igor Velimirovic, the editor of the website, told the Association of Independent Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) that he reported the threat and to the police and that they acted professionally and launched the investigation, the Platform statement said.
Targeting journalists and media by the state officials in Serbia was nothing new and, unfortunately, it happened even during the largest global crisis, Zelko Bodrozic, NUNS President, said.
In the first 23 days of the state of emergency declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NUNS registered 11 threats, while in the first three months of 2020, eight of them were registered.
The Platform reminded Serbia's officials that their words echoed among the population and that they had to refrain from verbal attacks and pressure on media.
The condemnation of the threat to Direktno.rs website and the change of the current discourse, the officials, could contribute to the better safety of the journalists in Serbia, the Platform's statement added.