Danas daily editor in chief Dragoljub Petrovic received an email threatening violence against that independent newspaper and its staff.
The email sent from a webmail service threatened “salvos of bullets” against the daily’s journalists, editors and columnists because of the newspaper’s editorial policy. The threatening email, sent from email@example.com was reported to the police.
“As the editor in chief of Danas daily, I need to inform you that you and your journalists and columnists are in mortal danger from certain far-right structures living in the shadows. I do not mean right-wingers under the control of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) or the right-wingers who recently stopped you at Slavija square while you were giving an interview for the Croatian branch of N1. Those people are mostly benign and the worst you could suffer from them are light injuries,” the email addressed to Belgrade Charlie Hebdo. The email was published on the Danas web portal.
It said that the threat comes over the newspaper’s reporting on Kosovo, the Republika Srpska and Montenegro.
I am worried about the reported threats against the Danas Daily @OnlineDanas in Serbia. In Europe we must always stand up against violence & threats towards journalists.
As @Europarl_EN Standing Rapporteur for 🇷🇸, I shall always fight for free media & protection of journalists.
— Vladimír Bilčík MEP (@VladoBilcik) November 7, 2022
It accused Danas, N1 and Nova S of openly siding with “Albanian separatists” Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and “ethnic Albanian separatists” in southern Serbia, singling out columnist Snezana Congradin. It also accused Danas of insulting the Serbs in Republika Srpska by allegedly calling them genocidal and the Serbs in Montenegro “Orthodox Taliban”.
The email listed the names of several Danas columnists.
The threat against Danas was condemned by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in a live appearance on the pro-regime TV Pink. Vucic said that things like that should not happen. “Let those people speak,” he said.
Petrovic said he expects the authorities to react immediately to identify the author of the threat. “We are used to receiving threats over our editorial policy but never something as terrifying as this one which said we would end up like our counterparts in Charlie Hebdo,” he said.
Journalists’ organizations, including Safe Journalists and the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS), condemned the threat and called the police and prosecutors to identify the author of the e-mail.