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Serbia


Talking about genocide prevention in the shadow of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps brings an intense and unique gravity to the discussions. The academic presentations cannot extract themselves from the looming presence of the barbed wires and grim towers surrounding the Nazis' most infamous death factory.

On the Runet, Old-School Repression Meets New

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev launched a blog but the Kremlin promised to tightly control who can comment on it. (Reuters)

By Nina Ognianova and Danny O'Brien

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has often talked about the importance of a free press and free Internet, telling reporters before his election that the Web "guarantees the independence of mass media." He explicitly tied the two together in his first State of the Union address in November 2008, declaring that "freedom of speech should be backed up by technological innovation" and that no government official "can obstruct discussion on the Internet."

Top Developments
• Authorities win convictions in anti-press attacks, improve access to information.
• Constitutional Court strikes down restrictive media ownership regulations.

Key Statistic
3: Suspects convicted and sentenced to prison for threats against B92 journalist.


Serbian authorities stepped up law enforcement efforts in attacks against journalists, winning convictions in high-profile cases, even as they pursued some restrictive media policies. These sometimes contradictory media practices reflected the broader political goals of President Boris Tadic, who pursued liberal policies such as seeking European Union membership and reconciling with neighboring Balkan states, while appealing to conservatives by refusing to recognize Kosovo's independence and failing to arrest indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic.

New York, July 26, 2010—Serbian authorities must thoroughly investigate the brutal attack on Teofil Pancic, a reporter for the independent weekly Vreme, and consider journalism as a potential motive, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

We issued the following statement after Croatian and Serbian prosecutors announced that they have charged eight men in an October 2008 car bombing that killed Ivo Pukanic, owner and editorial director of the Zagreb-based political weekly Nacional, and Niko Franjic, the paper’s marketing director...

New York, June 3, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the arrests of three additional suspects in the October 2008 murders of Ivo Pukanic, owner and editorial director of the Zagreb-based political weekly Nacional, and Niko Franjic, the publication's marketing director. Three other suspects had been arrested in November 2008. 

Nationalists suffered a series of political defeats in 2008 and responded by lashing out against independent journalists and liberal reformers with threats and physical attacks. A reformist-nationalist coalition government led by the conservative Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica during the first half of the year and by liberal President Boris Tadic during the second half failed to adequately protect journalists from these abuses. The nationalists targeted independent journalists, rights activists, and reformist politicians for "betraying" Serbia, while police and prosecutors regularly turned a blind eye.

Dear Mr. President, The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about the recent attacks on the Belgrade-based independent broadcaster B92 and its founder, Veran Matic. The attacks started in the wake of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence on February 17--culminating in the siege of the station by angry protesters on February 21--and have continued since.


SERBIA:

New York, February 22, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces yesterday’s siege in Belgrade of the independent radio and television station B92. Threats have been waged against the broadcaster since violence flared as a result of Kosovo’s declaration of independence on Saturday. Also, CPJ is appalled by a graphic video that appeared on YouTube on Saturday showing B92’s anchors being targeted by a sniper and killed. As of Friday, the video remained up.

CPJ research indicates that the following journalists have disappeared while doing their work. Although some of them are feared dead, no bodies have been found, and they are therefore not classified as "Killed." If a journalist disappeared after being held in government custody, CPJ classifies him or her as "Imprisoned" as a way to hold the government accountable for the journalist's fate.

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Killed in Serbia

2 journalists killed since 1992

2 journalists murdered

1 murdered with impunity

Contact

Europe and Central Asia

Program Coordinator:
Nina Ognianova

Research Associate:
Muzaffar Suleymanov

nognianova@cpj.org
msuleymanov@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext 106, 101
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Facebook: CPJ ECA Desk

Blog: Nina Ognianova
Blog: Muzaffar Suleymanov