Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS) strongly condemns the attack on N1 television journalist Mladen Savatovic that happened last night during live coverage. Also, we are concerned because the police did not react even though they were near the event.
The journalist of the N1 television, Mladen Savatovic, was attacked last night during his live program. As he says, an unknown man interrupted him and threw things at him, and then physically attacked him.
“That was in the middle of a live program.” He came and stopped there. He shouted something like ‘fox, fox’ and then slowly approached. When I realized that he was going to try to jump in front of the camera or attack me in the middle of the live, I asked him ‘what exactly are you waiting for’, after which he was rude and was getting into my face. I then reacted in affect and told him that the police would find him, thinking that he would run away. However, he became even more aggressive and that’s when the citizens who were there ran to help,” Savatovic described the event from last night.
He says that there were several plainclothes police officers at the scene, but that they did not react and take actions to secure the place and investigate the case. According to Savatovic, he called the police, who showed up ten minutes after the incident, but the attacker had escaped in the meantime. The police made a note and instructed the journalist to go to the police station the next day to report the attack.
IJAS condemns this attack as well as the inaction of the police. The police officers who were on the scene had to protect the journalist and detain the attacker until the arrival of the patrol, which would further act on the report.
The previous day at the opposition protest the person who attacked Mladen Savatovic was filmed destroying a car, and the question is how he has not already been identified and further actions taken against him due to suspicions of committing criminal acts?
We call on the competent authorities to fulfill the duties they have accepted and to react as quickly as possible in cases of attacks on journalists. We demand that the attacker of Mladen Savatovic be identified as soon as possible and we call on the prosecution to prosecute this case, for which there is a video.
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia
December 26, 2023