The intersectoral working group for freedom of expression and media of Serbia's National Convention on the European Union demanded from the relevant state institutions on Monday to urgently provide a safe environment for journalists to perform their work, especially at locations and during important social events, such as public gatherings.
It recalled that „the N1 television crew was exposed to multiple obstructions and insults by members of right-wing organisations earlier this month. During the protest of activists and the arrest of two activists, members of the right-wing organisation of the People’s Patrol obstructed N1 journalist Filip Lukic in live coverage. At the same time, the police did not react.“
It is added that „on November 11, N1 journalists were again exposed to threats while reporting on the event regarding the mural dedicated to ware criminal Ratko Mladic in central Belgrade.“
The statement said the state also did not react adequately to protect journalists who reported on the working conditions of Vietnamese employees at the Chinese Linglong factory in the northern town of Zrenjanin.
It recalled that an unknown man, presumably employed at the factory, blocked an N1 vehicle with his car and photographed them.
Besides, the Independent Society of Vojvodina’s Journalists (NDNV) warned the public that the Vojvodina Research and Analytical Center (VOICE) reporter Ivana Gordic was exposed to threats and hate campaigns after writing about inhumane working conditions in that factory.
The Convention recalled that Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also warned about the unsafe environment for the work of journalists in Serbia.
The statement added that „the attacks we witnessed in the previous period, and the lack of the institutional reaction once again showed that the commitment of Serbia’s authorities to the protection of journalists is exclusively declarative.“
„The working group warns once again that Serbia, as a democratic country aspiring to the EU membership, must ensure the free flow of information by securing safe reporting to journalists,“ the statement said.