Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK), a newsroom that reports about the crime and corruption in Serbia, received a death threat, on Wednesday, 1 December on their Twitter account.
After they published a story about the police chief who ordered that the secret recording of Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic’s father has to be deleted, a person allegedly named Djordje Pavlovic with an account “@ore05995944” wrote the post on Twitter that he will “set them all on fire and kill them”.
Bojana Jovanovic, an investigative reporter and deputy editor of the KRIK, said for SafeJournalists Network that according to her opinion “the reason of that threat is definitely the article that they had published today about the fact that, the son of the president of the state, Danilo Vucic, is the manager of one of the most wanted young football players, Dusan Vlahovic, although the threat was written under a completely different article”.
“The cause for that is the claim by the pro-government tabloids that this is an attack on the president and his family. It is definitely a consequence of the bad atmosphere in the society created by the government and its media”, she said.
The president of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia, Zeljko Bodrozic, said that such threats are a consequence of the arrogant and furious behavior of the authorities towards the media.
“Investigative journalists in Serbia are becoming a target for all kinds of furious people who hear from the high state officials that journalists are traitors. This threat must be sanctioned, but the world should also be aware of the problems journalistic profession faces in Serbia”, he said.
KRIK and their journalists are very often targets of threats, insults but also criminal offences such as burglary. Three female journalists from KRIK were victims of burglary but all three cases are still in pre investigative procedure.
Our Network has been warning for a long time that dangerous campaign have been waged against this media led by pro-government tabloids and sometimes supported by members of Serbian Parliament and high state officials. Also, we notice that the institutions do not react efficiently enough to the orchestrated attacks on this media.
SafeJournalists Network, representing more than 8,200 media professionals in the Western Balkans joins its member IJAS in condemning this death threat. We request from the Serbian police and prosecution to prosecute the person behind the threat as soon as possible.
The SafeJournalists Network will inform all relevant domestic and international actors about this case.
Every attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.
Skopje – Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Zagreb, December 1, 2021
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
BH Journalists Association
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro