IJAS: Targeting of Journalists Must Stop

Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS) strongly condemns the targeting of the media Danas, Nova S and N1 in the leaflets that were placed in front of the editorial office of the daily newspaper “Danas”.


More than 20 leaflets with the logos of Danas, Nova S and N1, along with photos of individual leaders of the opposition, as well as Franjo Tudjman and Alija Izetbegovic, were placed in the entrance of the “Danas” editorial building. “Fifth Column” was written on the leaflets, and the leaflets were signed as “Konzervativni pokret Naši” (“Conservative Movement Ours”).


This is not the first time that this movement has targeted the media – in March this year, a threat signed by the Naši movement arrived at the official address of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, in which the Association and the Automonija portal were accused of being “foreign mercenaries”, of waging a “media war against Serbia and of Russia” and to “promote Ukrainian neo-Nazism”, to which IJAS, as part of the Coalition for Media Freedom, reacted.


Also, lately we have witnessed constant targeting of the media by the holders of the highest government positions, especially by the President of the State Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. This kind of atmosphere towards journalists and the media, which are critically oriented, is transmitted to citizens, who also send threats, harass and insult journalists on social networks. One such case is the recent commenting on the tweet of N1 television journalist Dusan Mladjenovic, who was the target of harassment because of his journalistic work.


Let’s remind, in November last year, the daily newspaper Danas received an email threatening the journalists, editors and columnists of Danas with “barrages of bullets” because of the editorial policy of that media, and that they will suffer the same fate as the editorial office of the French satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo”, which was condemned by the Coalition for Media Freedom and the SafeJournalists network.


Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia warns that this way of treating journalists and the media is dangerous and that in this way journalists become targets of various types of attacks and pressures. We also appeal to the highest state officials to stop targeting journalists and media who write critically about their work and the work of state institutions. Holders of state offices are obliged to create an environment in which journalists can carry out their work unhindered and report on matters of public interest.


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