16 Jan Three Freedoms Under the Magnifying Glass: 1-16 January 2020

Belgrade, January 16 2020

Review of violations of freedom of association, assembly and expression in Serbia 1-16. January 2020


The beginning of 2020 was marked by events indicating that negative practices regarding freedom of assembly, association and expression would continue into the new year. This is evidenced by cases of physical and verbal attacks on journalists and their newsrooms, such as breaking into the premises of the Kolubarske.rs portal or insults and threats made by the SNS commissioner for the city of Nis, Zvezdan Milovanovic, at the expense of Juzne vesti. The fact that censorship is not an unknown phenomenon is evidenced by the example of censorship of the interview of the famous basketball coach Dusko Vujosevic, in which the sections related to the president were cut. Also, pressures on members of the Don’t let Belgrade d(r)own initiative continued – the court issued an order to apprehend activist Radomir Lazovic for protesting the demolition in Savamala.



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, only Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova are in this category.

* 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.

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.