Slavko Curuvija

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The Road to Justice

Sidebar: A New Start on Old Murders in Serbia

Slavko Curuvija was killed 15 years ago, but Veran Matić, a veteran journalist of Serbia’s independent media, never forgot.

Curuvija, an influential independent newspaper owner in what was then Yugoslavia, was shot in the back on April 11, 1999, by two men outside his apartment building. Curuvija was well known for his criticism of President Slobodan Milosovic, and there was evidence implicating Milosovic’s intelligence services in the attack—but no one was ever brought to justice. Other murders of journalists in what was then Yugoslavia also went unsolved, including the 2001 fatal assault on crime reporter Milan Pantic, and the death of Radoslava Dada Vujasinovic. Vujasinovic, who investigated corruption in Milosovic’s government, was found in her apartment with gunshot wounds in 1994. Her death was labeled a suicide.

Attacks on the Press   |   Serbia

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Serbia

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.

February 10, 2009 12:14 AM ET

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Case   |   Serbia

Broadcast editor receives death threats

August 9, 2007
POSTED September 12, 2007

Stefan Cvetkovic, TNT, Bela Crkva
THREATENED

On August 9, Cvetkovic, editor in chief of the independent radiotelevision station TNT in the city of Bela Crkva, about 100 km (62 miles) east of the capital, Belgrade, received two anonymous phone calls from an unidentified number. A male voice threatened to kill him and uttered profanities at him, the independent Belgrade-based broadcaster B92 reported. Cvetkovic believes the threats are in response to his station’s critical coverage of local authorities.

August 9, 2007 12:00 PM ET

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Letters   |   Serbia

CPJ gravely concerned about threat against editor

Dear Prime Minister Kostunica: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply dismayed by the Serbian Interior Ministry's failure to promptly respond to a credible death threat made against Grujica Spasovic, editor-in-chief of the Belgrade-based independent daily Danas (Today). An anonymous telephone threat was made to the newspaper on June 11 after Danas reported that your government has identified the town where indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic is hiding. We call on you to ensure that the threat is thoroughly investigated and that appropriate protection is provided to Spasovic.

June 23, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Serbia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia and Montenegro

Political paralysis consumed Serbia for much of 2004. Conservative reformists and ultranationalists argued over the bloody legacy of former President Slobodan Milosevic and refused to extradite Serbs indicted for war crimes to The Hague–based U.N. -tribunal. Amid a chaotic and polarized atmosphere, journalists were vulnerable to -intimidation from politicians, government agencies, businessmen, accused war criminals, and organized crime.
March 14, 2005 11:11 AM ET

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  |   Serbia

Attacks on the Press 2003: Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia's ruling reformist coalition, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, (DOS), struggled to come to terms with the legacy of corruption and extreme nationalism left by a decade of rule under former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Political division in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, powerful organized crime groups, and political apathy kept the conflict-ridden DOS coalition on the brink of collapse after the assassination of the prime minister in March.
March 11, 2004 12:02 PM ET

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Alerts   |   CPJ

CPJ RECEIVES OSCE PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM AND DEMOCRACY


Acceptance Speech by Ann Cooper

ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN JOURNALISTS WHO FOUNDED THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS NEARLY A QUARTER OF A CENTURY AGO, I THANK YOU FOR THIS GREAT HONOR.

THIS PRIZE COMES AT A CRUCIAL MOMENT FOR GLOBAL PRESS FREEDOM--A TIME WHEN MANY GOVERNMENTS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, INCREASINGLY CITE THE WAR ON TERRORISM AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR CURBING FREE MEDIA AND FREE EXPRESSION.

February 19, 2004 12:00 PM ET

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  |   Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press 2002: Yugoslavia

During 2002, the intense political and personal rivalry between Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica, a conservative nationalist, and Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic, a pragmatic reformist, consumed politics in Serbia, the dominant republic in the Yugoslav federation. The conflict, which stalled government reforms, was further complicated
by negotiations between the two Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro on transforming the Yugoslav federation into a union of two sovereign states. The possibility that the Yugoslav presidency would no longer exist forced Kostunica to run for the Serbian presidency in the fall against a Djindjic ally, Miroslav Labus. Voter apathy was so high that neither candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the electorate, leaving the presidency empty at year's end.
March 31, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Serbia

Prosecutor in journalist's murder case suspended

New York, March 26, 2003—Sinisa Simic, the public prosecutor responsible for the stalled investigation into the April 1999 assassination of Dnevni Telegraf editor-in-chief Slavko Curuvija, has been temporarily suspended of his duties, according to local press reports.

Serbia's acting president Natasa Micic ordered the suspension on Friday, March 21, amid a government crackdown on judges and prosecutors with suspected links to members of the powerful Zemun mafia clan that allegedly orchestrated the March 12 assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.
March 26, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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