Regional platform condemns violence against journalists

The W. Balkan's Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety has condemned verbal and physical attacks on journalists in Belgrade.

Source: B92
An anti-Vucic protest in Belgrade (Tanjug, file)
An anti-Vucic protest in Belgrade (Tanjug, file)

The incidents took took place on May 31, as Aleksandar Vucic assumed the Serbian presidency.

In a letter to Serbia's Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists, the organization, that represents more than 7800 members, noted that journalists from the daily Danas, production company Insider, portals VICE and Espresso and Radio Belgrade were attacked while reporting from the public events marking the inauguration of the new president.

"What we find especially worrying is the testimony of attacked journalists that police did nothing to prevent a group of hooligans from insulting journalists, threatening them and physically removing them from the public events. The Western Balkan's Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists' Safety strongly condemns this attacks and expects from Serbian authority to urgently and thoroughly investigate all facts about this case," the letter said, and added:

"As with all regional press freedom violations, it will collate data about this incident, publish it on www.safejournalists.net and report it to Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism via International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). Attack on journalists is a direct attack on freedom of expression and the right of citizens to be informed. It is even more alarming that the police, who should protect all citizens, did not react. Such behavior is not acceptable and the state should carry the full responsibility for it."

The Platform will also call on other relevant Serbian institutions to respect international conventions protecting the human rights and the freedom of expression, the letter said.

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