Journalists in Serbia ask about colleague’s whereabouts

Source: Ilustracija

Two independent journalists’ organisations in Serbia demand on Friday from the state institutions to immediately say where is their colleague Stefan Cvetkovic, who has been missing for almost 40 hours, and does he have legal protection.

The Independent Association of Serbia’s Journalists (NUNS) and the Independent Association of Journalists in Vojvodina (NDNV) have sought answers to where and how Cvetkovic has been found, in what capacity is he giving a statement and whether he has a lawyer present if he is suspected of anything.

“We request the clarification of all the details in this case and we demand a chance to talk to him as soon as possible,” a joint statement said.

Earlier, Serbia’s President accompanied by the Interior Minister and the State Secret Service’s boss, told reporters that Cvetkovic had been found in the vicinity of the northern town of Bela Crkva where he had disappeared from in the night between Wednesday and Thursday.

He did not give many details, except that Cvetkovic was in the police station, giving his version of what has happened since the disappearance which “our security services will look into.”

However, police in Bela Crkva refused to tell Maja Stojanovic, from Belgrade’s House of Human Rights, whether Cvetkovic had an attorney.

Vucic told reporters that Cvetkovic’s story sounded odd, but that police were checking it “as it was absolute truth.”

Then he started talking about the recent events not apparently linked to Cvetkovic’s case, adding that Serbia was exposed to bitter attacks in the last several days, attempts to imperil our internal order and the republic institutions, adding that “some (people) tried to take control of our streets and junctions and international motorways under false excuse of fuel prices.”

He also mentioned the false news that flooded social networks and caused panic about contaminated Belgrade’s water on Thursday.  Police arrested two men on suspicion of spreading the news.