Stop the Attacks on Journalists and Independent Media

Belgrade, March 10, 2021

The House of Human Rights and Democracy warns the competent institutions, as well as the  domestic and international public, of serious endangering of the safety of journalists that  comes with the latest in a series of attacks by pro-regime media and tabloids on KRIK – an  independent investigative media and part of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting  Project. 

The accusations made in some media that KRIK journalists and editorial office cooperated with  criminal groups represent a serious threat to media freedom because the facts are the  opposite. KRIK is working on revealing the connections of the mafia with public officials.  Unfounded accusations expose these journalists to life danger, paradoxically only 10 days after  the Government of Serbia activated the SOS telephone for journalists whose safety is  endangered. 

When government officials and media close to them constantly accuse independent journalists  and media of being traitors, foreign mercenaries, an extended arm of the opposition, ignorant  and liars, conspirators in the victory of the coronavirus, and now even collaborators suspected  of the most serious acts of organized crime, it is the government and media close to the  government that bear full responsibility for endangering the safety of journalists, freedom of  the media and the absence of the rule of law. 

That is why we call on the competent prosecutor’s office, the Government of the Republic of  Serbia, the Ministry of Culture and Information and REM to take all necessary steps to stop  drawing targets on journalists and independent media. The Constitution and laws specify that  there is a duty and obligation of these institutions to do everything in their power to protect  the safety of journalists and to enable the freedom of media and freedom of expression that  should exists in a democratic, European society that Serbia strives to be. 

Members of the Human Rights House: 

– Civic initiatives 

– Belgrade Centre for Human Rights 

– Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights – YUCOM 

– Helsinki Committee for Human Rights 

– Centre for Practical Policy