Journalists mark their day, warn about pressure and violence

Journalists in Serbia are this Thursday marking their day - for the 14th time since it was established in 2001.

Source: Tanjug
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On March 27, 1791 (according to the Julian calendar - March 14 in the Gregorian) the first newspaper printed in Serbian came off the presses.

The paper was called "Serpskija povsednevnija novini" ("Serb daily news") and was published in Vienna, by the Greek brothers Markides Pulio.

The state of Serbia should protect the journalists against pressure, threats and violence, and the perpetrators of the crimes must be exposed and adequately punished, it was concluded at the Wednesday's conference "Who, what, where, when, how - Impunity of crimes against journalists".

The state must not hold back journalists, who are “the eyes of democracy”, stressed the participants of the conference, organized by the Belgrade Center for European Integration.

They warned that the threats and pressure inhibit the freedom of reporting and contribute to self-censorship, while the reaction of the police and the judiciary is lacking.

Gordana Predić, a state secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Information, said that the threats have produced results, as “the self-censorship is widespread, the investigative journalism in not encouraged, and the journalists are withdrawing."

Professor Milan Žarković pointed out that Serbia does not have an adequate law on judicial experts, or a good witness protection system, noting that for that reason it is no wonder that in the cases of journalist murders there are no witnesses.

Chairman of the Commission for investigating journalist murders Veran Matić said that 39 journalists from Serbia have been murdered since 1991, including Slavko Ćuruvija, Dada Vujasinović and Milan Pantić, 16 employees of the Radio and Television of Serbia who lost their lives in the NATO bombing, while the others were killed or murdered in the armed conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Miroslav Janković, National Legal Officer at the OSCE Mission to Serbia, noted that it is encouraging to see the decisive and adequate reaction of the police aimed to provide protection to the journalists who need it, but added that there is no efficient action to eliminate the source of the threat.

Jankovic pointed out that 23 attacks on journalists have been reported in Serbia in course of last year and that three journalists are under constant police protection - Veran Matić, editor-in-chief of TV B92, Brankica Stankovic of TV B92's Insider, and Večernje Novosti's correspondent from Loznica, Vladimir Mitrić.

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Society Wednesday, March 26, 2014 11:44 Comments: 1
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