SafeJournalists and MFRR: Physical Confrontation with Journalist in Serbia is Unacceptable and Must be Sanctioned

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    photo: N1/canva

    SafeJournalists Network and the Media Freedom Rapid Response strongly condemn the behavior of the local authorities in Indjija, who forcibly removed the journalist Verica Marincic from the municipality building and prevented her from doing her job. We appeal to the competent authorities to investigate this incident in which the journalist was injured. 

    The journalist of the In media portal from Indjija, Verica Marincic, was kicked out of the Indjija municipality building because she “wasn’t on the list” to monitor the conference regarding the residents’ protest against the abolition of the railway station. In a video published by N1 television, it is seen that a member of the security forces removed the journalist from the building using physical force.

    Verica Marincic says that she came to see off the protest that was announced earlier, and when she saw that Indija journalists were entering the building, she followed them, but was met at the entrance by the chief of staff of the municipal president, who told her that she could not go to the conference.   

    “I took my phone to record what he was saying to me and he grabbed my left upper arm because I had a phone in that hand and squeezed me expecting the phone to fall out of my hand. Because I didn’t want to let go, he took my phone. When he saw that it was all being recorded by a journalist from N1, then he withdrew. After that, a man from security came out and started pushing me to go outside,” stated Verica Marincic. The whole case was reported to the competent authorities.

    The SafeJournalists Network and Media Freedom Rapid Response call on the state to urgently send a message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and to condemn this kind of behavior towards journalists. The SafeJournalists and MFRR also appeal to public officials and politicians to refrain from targeting media in Serbia, because their rhetoric encourages individuals to later threaten the media and media workers.

    Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.

     

    SafeJournalists Network

    Association of Journalists of Kosovo

    Association of Journalists of Macedonia

    BH Journalists Association

    Croatian Journalists’ Association

    Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

    Trade Union of Media of Montenegro

     

    Media Freedom Rapid Response

    ARTICLE 19 Europe

    European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

    European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

    OBC Transeuropa (OBCT)

    Free Press Unlimited (FPU)

    International Press Institute (IPI)