IJAS: Concerns over the persecution of journalist Jelena Zoric

IJAS expresses deep concern over the pressure on N1 journalist Jelena Zoric, since Svetislav Bojic, the lawyer of the first defendant in the “Jovanjica” case – Predrag Koluvija, filed a criminal lawsuit against her.

This lawsuit came after N1 filed a disciplinary complaint against the lawyer in question with the Belgrade Bar Association, for the manner in which Bojic addressed the journalist, conveying  Koluvija’s greetings from prison, claiming that whoever resented him didn’t do well.

We remind that Predrag Koluvija, the majority owner of the agricultural estate “Jovanjica”, is accused of organizing a criminal group that produced and sold narcotics.

IJAS also reminds that Serbia has a long history of intimidation and blackmail of journalists from various criminal structures and their messengers.

On this occasion, we remind all branches of government in Serbia of the recommendations of the Council of Europe (Recommendation CM / Rec (2016) 41) which, among other things, appeal to member states to be careful and ensure that regulations and sanctions are not applied to journalists or other media actors in a discriminatory or arbitrary manner.

IJAS considers that the criminal charges filed against their colleague Jelena Zoric are an obvious example of superficial, or malicious use of the law in order to put additional pressure on her because of the work she does in the public interest.

We demand that the chronic persecution of journalist Jelena Zoric, who, in addition to the annual IJAS award for ethics and courage “Dusan Bogavac”, received the JAS award “Aleksandar Tijanic”, as well as the Charter of the Serbian Philanthropic Forum for exceptional professional reporting in 2020, and we take this opportunity to invite the public to give her unequivocal support in  her hard work and fight for the truth, and we will continue to provide her with all the necessary support in order for her to continue to report in a professional manner as she has done so far.

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