Journalists’ murders still unaccounted for

BELGRADE -- Cases of murdered journalists still wait to be solved; no one ever answered for attacking a reporter.

Dejan Anastasijević's apartment window (Beta)
Dejan Anastasijević's apartment window (Beta)

Two hand grenades were placed early Saturday on a window seal of journalist Dejan Anastasijević apartment, one of which exploded, causing material damage but no injuries.

According to journalists Dragan Bujošević and Gordana Suša, the incident is a direct consequence of unresolved murder cases of journalists that happened in the past, and the rising number of verbal and physical assaults that take place nowadays.

The case of journalist Dada Vujanović, found dead at her apartment 13 years ago, was never resolved in court.

What’s more, the public never received an official account as to who ordered the murder of a prominent Serbian anti-regime journalist Slavko Ćuruvija who was gunned down on April 11, 1999, in front of his apartment in downtown Belgrade. The case is still in the pre-investigative stage.

Daily Večernje Novosti reporter Milan Pantića was beaten to death five years ago in Jagodina, and up to now there has been no indication as to the identity of his murderer.

“We still have no idea who killed our colleagues, which can, in my opinion, be explained by an theory that the secret police services have been run by the same people ever since Dada Vujasinović was killed,” Bujošević said.

“The second reason is that false patriotism we witnessed in the 1990s again emerges in our society. False patriots failed to protect Serbs in Croatia and Kosovo, but successfully keep on abusing anyone who doesn’t share their opinion,” he added.

Gordana Suša, president of the Serbian Independent Journalist Association (NUNS) said that the attempt on Dejan Anastasijević’s life was an attempt to smother free media, following the pattern present under Milošević’s rule.

“The current government seems to have turned a blind eye to these murders, as it doesn’t try enough to reveal the perpetrators,” she added.

Dragan Bujošević claims that journalist have more difficulties nowadays in comparison with Milošević’s time.

“I believe it was easier in a way when we had Milošević on one side, and the journalists who refused to be his messengers on the other. However, the situation is rather baffling at the moment, with politicians mixed up with tycoons, whose mutual goal is to adjust the media to suit their needs and advertise their positions,” he argued.

There are no precise data as to how many journalists were verbally or physically attacked over the last fifteen years. According to Serbian Independent Journalist Association (NUNS) records, there have been 50 reported assaults in 2006 only.