10 Mar 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