The Coalition for Media Freedom strongly condemns the most mundane insults that an official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party made against journalist Nedim Sejdinovic.
We warn the public and state institutions of the extreme danger of such insults, as well as the labeling of Sejdinović as a “Serb-hater”, because they come not only from officials of the ruling party, but also from members of the High Council of the Judiciary.
Vladimir Djukanovic, as a member of the outgoing Assembly of Serbia, namely, was the chairman of the Committee for the Judiciary and, by virtue of that function, a member of the High Council of the Judiciary, i.e. in the position of electing judges. That fact is alarming considering the vulgar insults and threats he made against Sejdinovic. When a person who influences the functioning of the judiciary insults and threatens, then it is an alarm for all citizens of Serbia, whose rights are left to the political powerful who are trying to subjugate the entire judicial system.
The coalition calls on all European and international institutions that deal with the protection of journalists’ rights, as well as human rights in general, to put pressure on the authorities in Serbia in order to stop the erosion of the rule of law and the collapse of the civilizational heritage of modern democratic systems.
We also appeal to the officials of the European Union to make it clear to the authorities in Serbia, and primarily to the President of the Republic and a close friend of Vladimir Djukanovic, Aleksandar Vucic, who has already used all the levers of power, that the arbitrariness of the local rulers will not be tolerated in the process of European integration.
The Coalition for Media Freedom consists of the Association of Media, the Association of Online Media (AOM), the Independent Association of Journalists of Vojvodina (NDNV), the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS), the Business Association of the Association of Local and Independent Media “Local Press” and the Slavko Curuvija Foundation.