PEN calls Belgrade to condemn threats against journalists and writers

photo: Predrag Mitić (Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation)

International PEN called the Serbian authorities to condemn threats to writers and journalists on Monday.

A statement signed by PEN International and Serbian PEN said that the Serbian authorities “must urgently condemn and address threats to writers and journalists.


“Ending impunity for crimes against writers and journalists is of the utmost importance, after landmark convictions for the assassination of prominent journalist Slavko Curuvija were recently overturned,” it said.


“PEN International condemns the acquittal of the former Serbian state security officers who were previously convicted for their role in the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija. The outrage felt in Serbia and beyond is a justified response to a verdict that sent out shockwaves amongst Serbian writers and journalists, who are working in an increasingly toxic and suffocating atmosphere, in which impunity remains the norm. PEN International calls for all those responsible for the killing of Slavko Ćuruvija to be brought to justice. With independent voices in Serbia facing mounting risks, we once again urge the Serbian authorities to systematically, publicly, and unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and targeted attacks against writers and journalists, to ensure impartial, prompt, thorough, independent, and effective police investigations into all alleged crimes against writers, and to hold those responsible to account,” the statement quoted Ma Thida, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee as saying.


It recalled that the Curuvija trial verdict comes “in the wake of sustained threats against independent voices in Serbia in recent weeks, orchestrated by both state and non-state actors, who aim to silence their opinion and critical reporting”.


Source: N1


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