13 Dec Three freedoms under the magnifying glass: 1-15 December 2019

Belgrade, December 13, 2019 

Review of violations of freedom of association, assembly and expression in Serbia 1-15 December 2019

The previous period was marked by the case of the announcement, and later withdrawal, of the front page of the weekly newspaper NIN, which featured a photograph of President Aleksandar Vucic at the arms fair. The fact that a gun was on the picture was sufficient reason to launch an intense campaign that accused NIN of calling for the assassination of the president. As a consequence of this case, posters with a fake NIN front page containing a photo of the person accused of killing Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic were displayed in Novi Sad. The person was depicted as the recipient of the award given by this weekly magazine. Negative campaign against N1 television has also continued, where their journalists were not allowed to do their jobs and were the target of indecent assaults by the Minister of Education, Mladen Sarcevic.

After 6 months on the CIVICUS monitor watch list, Serbia has fallen into the category of countries where basic freedoms have been obstructed, signifying a significant collapse of freedom of assembly, expression and association. Serbia is the only country in the region in this category. As for the whole of Europe, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova are in this category.



Representatives of 20 civil society organisations signed in Belgrade the Three Freedoms Platform for the Protection of Civic Space in the Republic of Serbia, in order to protect and promote the freedom of association, assembly and information.The Platform is intended to act as a joint block of civil society organizations (associations, professional organizations, foundations, endowments, and other forms of associations including informal groups of citizens) to stand for the protection of endangered freedoms and create conditions for unhindered participation of citizens in public affairs through civil society development.

* Civic Initiatives as a partner of CIVICUS Monitor for Serbia send bi-weekly reports in English since August 2018.  Learn more about the CIVICUS Monitor here.