Safety of KRIK journalists seriously endangered

Belgrade, March 10, 2021 

The Inter-sectoral Group on Freedom of Expression and Media and the Working Group for the Chapter 23 of the National Convention on the European Union (NCEU) strongly condemn the threats to the safety of journalists of the KRIK research network with scandalous tabloid coverage of media close to the authorities and call on the competent institutions to react to these attacks as soon as possible.

The Government of Serbia and the competent Ministry must speak up and take all measures in order for KRIK to continue working without the pressures that arose as a result of the obviously coordinated tabloid smear campaign.

This attack, which is an attempt to divert the public attention from the documented connection of governing structures with criminal groups, which KRIK has been pointing out for years with its research work, comes at a time when the atmosphere in society is further shaken by unethical reporting on organized crime, which included the showing of disturbing photos in prime time, on thirteen televisions at the same time, and therefore represents a transparent drawing of the target on the head of the journalists of this portal.

We remind you that the Republic of Serbia, on its European path, has committed itself to respecting the principles that include the obligation of the state to provide protection to journalists and all those who report in the public interest, as well as to prevent the use of media as a means of confrontation with political opponents, especially by leaking information from investigations to the media. 

This once again showed that in Serbia, not only are there no conditions for exercising basic human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression, but that the safety of journalists is seriously endangered. For that reason, the signatories of this announcement expect that the newly formed Group for the Safety of Journalists will also address this issue.

The state authorities are obliged to provide adequate protection, support and creation of an atmosphere in which critical journalism will be one of the most important pillars of a legal and democratic state, by publicly and clearly addressing the unfounded attacks on KRIK.

 

Inter-sectoral group for freedom of expression and media NCEU

Working Group on Chapter 23 of the NCEU