State must sanction threats against journalists

Source/Author: [:en]IJAS[:rs]NUNS[:]

BELGRADE, 18.07. 2016. – Independent Journalists’ Association of journalists (IJAS) and Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina (IJAV) demand from the authorities to take all legal measures to prevent all direct and serious threats to journalists.

It is incomprehensible that in the light of direct death threats to journalists we lack any public reaction of the competent authority – even a formal condemnation. The prosecutorial and judicial tolerance that sees the messages “I would give you a bullet in the forehead” or “you need to burn” as “expression of opinion” that does not constitute a crime of endangering safety, prosecuted ex officio is unexplainable.

This strengthens a suspicion that behind these attacks, especially on journalists who investigate corruption, organised crime and other sensitive issues, are people close to the government.

The newest case of threats to the newsroom KRIK and journalist Dragana Peco shows once again that the lack of adequate sanctions encourages the enemies of freedom of information and expression, which continuously and recklessly endanger the safety of journalists in Serbia.

Journalist Dragana Peco and other journalists of portal KRIK received threats through social networks, stating they “should be lined up and shoot as foreign agents in Serbia.” They were also told: “Who are you to ask for information on work records of the head of the state and government, f*** your treacherous mother,” and “when you come to look for the information, I’ll be there, and I’ll f***your mother.”

KRIK journalists identified the person who treated them and submitted the information to the Prosecutors’ office.
IJAS and IJAV remind the public that these threats were preceded by several months campaign against the KRIK, whose editor in chief was labeled as “mafia”, “spy”, “media terrorists”, etc,. in tabloid Informer and other media close to the government