IJAS: New pressures on KRIK – attempt of silencing with a lawsuit

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The Independent Journalists Association of Serbia expresses solidarity with colleagues from the KRIK editorial office who are sued for reporting on the “Jovanjica” case and gives them full support to continue following this topic, important for our entire society.

Namely, the editorial room of KRIK and the editor Stevan Dojcinovic were sued by Predrag Koluvija, the first accused of organizing criminal activities in both cases  called “Jovanjica”.  For the mental pain he suffered and he is asking KRIK for satisfaction in the amount of 400,000RSD.

We would like to note that KRIK reported on this case from the very beginning and that when reporting it respects the presumption of innocence of the accused. KRIK journalists reported the allegations from the indictment, which charges Koluvija, as the first accused, with committing the criminal offense of unauthorized production and distribution of narcotics with a group of other persons. After the end of this procedure, Koluvija will have the right to inform the public about the outcome of the criminal procedure, and if he is acquitted he would be able to submit such a request, KRIK, as well as other media that reported from this trial, would have to comply with such a request.

Since the beginning of the year, KRIK journalists have been targeted by various interest groups and individuals, and above all by politicians. Since the beginning of the year, we have recorded seven cases of pressure on our colleagues from the KRIK editorial office in our database. Regardless of everything that happens to them, they persevere in their work and because of that, the public owes them gratitude.

We would like to remind that filing SLAPP lawsuits against journalists is a well-known way of silencing the media and journalists. In our country, it has become popular again since the end of last year and the beginning of this year.  IJAS has so far been informed from more than 10 different media about SLAPP lawsuits as a method of pressure and exhaustion of journalists and media, and that number is growing day by day as we get new data and information.

IJAS,

September 2, 2021