Associations: New phase of oppression of the freedom of media and intimidation of journalists

Source/Author: IJAS

BELGRADE, 19.09.2017. – Associations of journalists and media warn citizens and international institutions about the fact that the Serbian government entered a new, brutal phase of oppression of the freedom of media and intimidation of journalists, aiming to completely disable the control role of the media and shut any independent critical opinion down.

In only two days, several alarming events occurred: KRIK portal and its Editor-in-Chief Stevan Dojcinovic have been exposed to the terrifying attacks organized by the ruling Movement of Socialists and several media, because they published investigative articles about the apartment owned by the Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin; under the political pressure, one of the most significant local media, weekly newspaper Vranjske has been shut down and its owner and Editor-in-Chief Vukasin Obradovic went on hunger strike; journalists Antonela Riha, Natasa Mijuskovic and Jelena Obucina are a target of today’s edition of “Informer”, that is presenting them as “yellow RTS hypocrites” and is basically calling its readers to confront them.

Although different at first glance, the above-mentioned events are undoubtedly connected by the fact that the government mobilized all the state institutions and pro-governmental media to fight against the ‘unsuitable’ media and journalists, as well as the non-existence of the adequate reaction of the citizens, domestic and international organizations to the constant pressures against the freedom of media.

Associations of journalists and media are asking citizens and NGOs to take an active role in the struggle for ensuring the freedom of media and expressions since it is certainly not only the matter for media professionals but a precondition to any democratic process and the protection of human rights.

We are also asking the international organizations to stop ignoring severe problems that journalists and media in Serbia are facing and to become actively involved in the protection of the democratic values that they have been promoting themselves.

Independent Journalists Association of Serbia
Independent Journalists Association of Vojvodina
Association of Online Media
Association of Independent Electronic Media
Association of the Local Independent Media