Serbian Government Must Act on Journalist Attacks

The authors of the investigative TV show ‘Insider’, Brankica Stankovic and her team, have received new threats after the last episode was aired on TV B92 on the 3rd of December.

The authors were investigating the background of hooligans in football supporters’ clubs, individuals that have been involved in many criminal acts and brutal attacks in the last years. They have been investigated by the police but none of the cases have reached final judgments in the courts, despite the fact that an unreasonably long time has passed in most of the cases.

Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemns the attacks, and requests from the Serbian government to act immediately in bringing those responsible to justice.

“The Serbian government has an obligation to protect media and individual journalists, who take on this role, and make sure that they do not stand alone against the actors of organised crime,” says Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders. Media play an important role in identifying persons and businesses involved in criminal acts, they pressure government and law enforcement to act and empower citizens and NGOs to demand reform.

The number of attacks on journalists is growing and the previous cases of murders and threats against journalists have never been resolved. The cases have not been fully processed within the judicial system of Serbia. Even though the President of Serbia and the Minister of Justice issued statements calling for finding those responsible and bringing them to justice, it did not bring effective results.

The media and the public have the right to know who is responsible for threats, attacks and murders of journalists in Serbia. We urge the government and the crime-fighting authorities to give the highest priority to these cases and bring those responsible to justice.

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