SJ: The safety of journalists in Serbia was endangered during the protests

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    There were protests throughout Serbia, on Saturday, November 27, on the occasion of the adoption of the Law on Expropriation and the Law on Referendum in the Assembly of Serbia. Unfortunately, the journalists were not safe this time either.

    N1 reporter Milan Nikic was attacked during a protest on the Kragujevac-Jagodina road in the village of Gornja Sabanta. The driver of the Renault with Jagodina registration plates attacked the N1 reporter and hit the camera hard. The police immediately removed the driver and identified him. Nikic reported the case to the Kragujevac Police Department.

    Second case was the same day when police inspectors in civilian clothes of the Police Administration in Vranje raided the home address of Vranje News reporter Milena Dimic in the late afternoon with an order to bring her to give a statement, but she could not leave the apartment because she was alone with small children. As soon as it was possible Dimic went to the police station and gave the statement that she was at the protest to report about it and she clearly identified herself as a journalist from Vranje News portal.

    IJAS president, Zeljko Bodrozic, said that there are more and more protests in Serbia and that journalists are still not sufficiently protected, but from recent cases we see that even the police make it difficult for them to do their job.

    Bodrozic added: “We call on the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior to pay more attention to journalists who report on various events, especially such gatherings, which require the public to be informed in a timely and objective manner, regardless of whether the protests are approved or not by police representatives.”

    The SafeJournalists network representing more than 8.200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, joins its member, the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia, in condemning those recent cases and expressing a deep concern about it.

    The task of journalists is to report and inform the public from and the Police should help and not arrest them and in that way exert additional pressure.

    SafeJournalists Network will inform all relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.

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

    Skopje – Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Zagreb, November 30, 2021

    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