Radio host assaulted in Serbia; Journalist: More serious than simple attack

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Source: N1

Radio host Dasko Milinovic was assaulted by two young men in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad on Friday morning, the 021.rs portal reported.

Speaking on his Alarm morning show, Milinovic said that he was assaulted by two young men who first used a tear gas spray and then hit him with an iron bar.

“I was attacked by two pathetic young badly-trained fascists who were waiting for me. One of them sprayed me with tear gas and I would recommend that they buy better tear gas next time. My arm is bleeding but the bar was not good quality,” he said. Milinovic added that he saw the same two young men waiting for him a day earlier and can identify them.

„The attack on Milinovic is planned in the same way as it was on Milan Pantic (killed in on June 11, 2001, outside his residence). That is a much more serious case than a simple attack,“ Veran Matic, a member of the Working Group for Journalists’ Safety and Protection, said later on Friday. Earlier this week, Matic said the names of those who slain Pantic, a Belgrade Vecernje Novosti daily correspondent from the central Jagodina town in 2001, were known, but they were free since the Prosecutors’ Office for Organised Crime said it did not have enough evidence.

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Dasko Milinovic and his co-host Mladen Urdarevic gave their Internet radio named Dasko and Mladja and host the Alarm satirical show every weekday. Urdarevic said that the assault was intended to prevent a free-thinking man from saying what he thinks.

The Independent Society of Journalists of Vojvodina (NDNV) called the authorities to react immediately and identify the attackers, adding that the assault was the direct result of the failure to act by state bodies and the constant campaign directed against people who have different views. The NDNV warned that the authorities have not been solving attacks on journalists.

The Culture and Information Ministry condemned the assault and called the authorities to make it and other attacks on journalists a priority. “The ministry reiterates that all journalists and media staff have to be allowed to do their jobs freely,” it said.