The Serbian list published a press release in which it denied the writing of the KoSSev portal that they brought citizens from central Serbia by buses who “allegedly should take part in the protests”.
“Untruths that tend to be spread can have dangerous consequences and serve as an alibi and an occasion for the use of violence against our bare-handed people who peacefully, democratically express their protest against the violation of fundamental rights”, it was said in a statement that was not submitted to the KoSSev portal, and which has so far been published by some media in the North of Kosovo, the media in Priština, as well as the Beta agency.
“We call on the citizens to remain restrained and not fall for provocations and lies that are being placed at this sensitive moment,” the statement concluded, according to other media.
The editor of the KoSSev portal, Tatjana Lazarevic, points out that it is untrue that they published misinformation because their news clearly states that just before the beginning of the protest, at least ten buses with license plates RKS, KM, ČA and BG arrived from the direction of Zvečan to enter Kosovska Mitrovica.
“Each bus was marked with an ordinal number. The largest ordinal number we saw was 30. The readers could see that on our portal. The same news is still available, and therefore I call on the public and politicians to compare the information in the statement with information on our portal”, states Tatjana Lazarević, for the KoSSev portal.
“As far as ‘dangerous consequences’ are concerned, the risk of them in this particular case is therefore the responsibility of the Serbian List for spreading misinformation regarding our portal, and whose target we have become again. Unfortunately, the target is the truth and, above all, the right of citizens to be accurately informed. And finally, as far as the ‘call’ is concerned, once again, I call on the leadership of the Serbian List to stop discriminating our media, and the public that is informed through our portal, ” Lazarevic said, adding that she would inform about the new targeting as soon as possible all international professional associations.
IJAS points out that this is not the first time that pressure has been put on KoSSev, reminding that the premises where the portal is located were shot at in 2015, and the director’s car was set on fire the same year, while the editor’s family was threatened in 2016. In the same year, a message was conveyed through a high-ranking official of this party “that it will be difficult for them to work” if they do not find a common language.
At the same time, the portal is excluded from the list of media that are informed about the activities and information of the government and other institutions as well as their availability to our journalists for any questions.
NUNS reminds that the role of journalists in every society is to report on events of public importance, and government representatives should condemn such forms of severe pressure that can lead to more serious consequences for journalists, and to enable journalists of the KoSSev portal to work with no pressure.