UAE: Serbia’s journalist is on ‘black list’ on some other Govt. request

Photo: N1

BELGRADE, 18.12.2019. – Stevan Dojcinovic, the editor of Serbia’s Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK), is on a flight to Belgrade after being held under surveillance for 12 hours in Abu Dhabi and then deported, KRIK said in a statement on Wednesday.

UAE authorities stopped Dojcinovic at the Abu Dhabi airport and told him he was on a ‘blacklist,’ and could not enter the country.

Drew Sullivan, the editor of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), broke the news on his Twitter account earlier on Wednesday.

Dojcinovic was supposed to address a UN convention on corruption, Sullivan wrote, adding Dojcinovic was told his name was on some vague list.

“After that, they took me to the airport’s police. They took my fingerprints, photographed me and made a file. Then they left me to wait under surveillance and after five hours told me I would be deported to Serbia next morning,” Dojcinovic said.

He added the police officers who guarded him said he was on the ‘blacklist’ and had to be sent back to Serbia without a proper explanation.

“They told me that it was not UAE that put him on the list, but that it was the request by some other Government, but did not tell me a whose government that was,” Dojcinovic said.

The situation was not entirely new to Dojcinovic since the same happened to him in Russia in 2015 when he was banned from entering the country where he was supposed to give a lecture on investigative reporting to Moscow’s students, KRIK reported.

“In comparison to Russia’s authorities, people here were more polite to me. I didn’t end up in detention, and even allow me to buy food,” Dojcinovic said.

Belgrade has traditionally good relationship with Moscow, while it has intensified cooperation with UAE, mainly in the construction business.

KRIK is investigating and publishing cases of high-level corruption in Serbia.

N1 Belgrade, Belgrade, 18/12/2019