European Federation of Journalists

Serbia: MFRR partners demand Belgrade court set Belarusian journalist free

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in demanding the immediate release of Andrey Gniot, a Belarusian journalist and pro-democracy activist who is being held in custody by Serbian authorities on politically motivated charges formulated by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. Since October, Serbian courts have been deliberating upon a request to deport Gniot to Belarus. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), an independent trade union in exile, Gniot was arrested immediately upon his arrival to Serbia on October 30. He was detained based on an international arrest warrant…

Report: More than half of Serbian journalists experienced self-censorship

The 2023 Report on the state of media freedom and the safety of journalists in Serbia was published on 15 March 2024, assessing the pressure experienced by media professionals in the country. Entitled “Behind the headlines: Threats, attacks and pressure on journalists in Serbia”, the research was conducted in collaboration with the Journalists Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS), with the support of the European Union and Council of Europe, based on a survey of 130 journalists and media workers. The report presents the major challenges to the safety of Serbian journalists by examining…

Safety and justice: demanding accountability for attacks against journalists in Serbia

Commemorating 25 years since the brutal murder of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, the European Federation of Journalists joins the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners and the SafeJournalists Networkto condemn the continued impunity surrounding his assassination and demand accountability for all acts of violence committed against journalists in Serbia. The recent acquittal of security officers accused of Ćuruvija’s murder, as well as the escalating attacks against journalists in Novi Sad, underscore the urgent need for authorities to act and protect press freedom in Serbia. Ćuruvija, an esteemed editor and publisher, was fatally shot in front of his home in Belgrade on 11 April 1999.…

Letter to Serbian authorities: Urgent action needed to address imminent threats targeting journalists Ana Lalić Hegediš and Dinko Gruhonjić

In a letter to Serbian authorities, the International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) joins partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in urging them to address death threats faced by journalists Ana Lalić Hegediš and Dinko Gruhonjić, in Serbia. We are deeply concerned that no decisive action has been taken to conduct a thorough investigation, arrest the perpetrators and provide the journalists with adequate protection. 

Serbia: Escalating threats and attacks against journalists in Novi Sad

The escalation of threats and violence suffered by journalists in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, has reached an unprecedented level in the past fortnight. The undersigned organisations urge the Serbian authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the persistent attacks on journalists and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted accordingly.  In just ten days, no fewer than seven journalists have faced threats and assaults in the city of Novi Sad alone. Whether it is physical assaults, verbal abuse, online harassment or death threats, the ability of Serbian journalists to do their job is severely compromised and their safety is at…

Physical confrontation with journalist in Serbia is unacceptable and must be sanctioned

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the SafeJournalists Network and the Media Freedom Rapid Response partners in strongly condemning the behaviour of the local authorities in Indjija, Serbia, who forcibly removed the journalist Verica Marincic from the municipality building and prevented her from doing her job. We appeal to the competent authorities to investigate this incident in which the journalist was injured. The journalist of the In media portal from Indjija, Verica Marincic, was kicked out of the Indjija municipality building because she “wasn’t on the list” to monitor the conference regarding the residents’ protest against the abolition of…

Serbia: Court of Appeals acquits suspects of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija’s murder

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined the Safe Journalists Network (SJN) and other partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in deploring the Belgrade Court of Appeals’s decision to acquit the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. On Friday 2 February 2024, the Belgrade Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Special Department for Organized Crime of the High Court in Belgrade, and acquitted the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. This disappointing development constitutes a grave backslide to the fight against impunity and further undermines journalists’ safety. This final…

Serbia: hundreds protest acquittals in journalist’s murder

Hundreds protested in Belgrade today over a court ruling that acquitted four former intelligence officers jailed for the 1999 murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stands in solidarity with the demonstrators gathered to demand an end to impunity. The protest was organised by the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, together with the EFJ affiliates in Serbia (UNS, NUNS, KUM Nezavisnost), NDNV, Media Association, AOM, Local Press and ANEM. An appeals court ruling published on Friday overturned the 2021 convictions and lengthy jail terms for four intelligence officers. The long long legal process has been marked by dramatic twists.…

Serbia: EFJ condemns acquittals in Slavko Ćuruvija murder case

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the demonstration organised today at 2pm in front of the Belgrade Court of Appeal to denounce the outrageous acquittal of the alleged killers of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. We call on the Serbian authorities to put an end to impunity in this case. “The murder of journalist Slavko Curuvija, which was ordered and organised by the state, remains an unpunished crime, 25 years after it was committed and nine years after the start of the trial,” the Slavko Curuvija Foundation said, noting that the Court of Appeal acquitted four members of the State…

Serbia: We condemn the attacks against journalists during protests in Belgrade

On 24 December, several journalists and media workers were targets of insults and physical violence while reporting on protests in Belgrade that objected to alleged  irregularities during general elections on 17 December. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) condemn the violent acts and urge the competent authorities to launch an immediate investigation. During the demonstrations, four attacks against journalists and media workers were recorded: three were perpetrated by law enforcement authorities, and one by a protester. The federations express consternation and outrage at those acts from the people whose exact mission is to defend and protect citizens.   Al Jazeera’s…

Serbia: MFRR and SafeJournalists call on state institutions to address threats to journalists

The host of the “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” podcast, Nenad Kulacin is once again the target of threats. The last threat to the presenter was sent via social networks from an anonymous account. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its partner the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) and the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), organisations dedicated to protecting media freedom and the rights of journalists, to share their concerns about the rising  threats targeting the presenter. We note that the competent institutions in Serbia have not yet determined the identity of any perpetrator in the cases that have…

Serbia: New draft media laws represent another step backward for media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today in raising the alarm about two draft media laws brought forward by the Serbian government for their lack of compliance with international freedom of expression standards. If passed they would represent a regressive step with wide-ranging implications for media freedom and pluralism. As the public debate on the legislation continues, the MFRR calls on the Serbian government to withdraw the problematic changes added into the latest drafts and ensure compliance with the country’s previously agreed Media Strategy. The latest draft versions of the…

Kosovo: EFJ express concern about Kosovo’s banning of Serbian reporter Svetlana Vukmirovic

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined its affiliates in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, and four civil society organisations (ECPMF, CPJ, FPU, OBCT) in writing to the Kosovo authorities to express concern about the case of journalist Svetlana Vukmirovic, who has been denied entry to Kosovo in order to carry out her work on multiple occasions since 2018. The latest case occurred on 1st May, when Vukmirovic – while working for public broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia – was again banned from entering the territory of Kosovo with the explanation that she is considered…

Serbia: EFJ President calls on authorities to respect journalists

Incidents of disrespect for the work of journalists are multiplying in Serbia. The EFJ President Maja Sever denounced these attacks. She called on the authorities to respect the role and mission of the press in a democratic society. On 27 July, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic presented the EU’s Digital Europe programme at the Belgrade Science and Technology Park, in the presence of Information Minister Mihailo Jovanovic and the Head of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret. The press was invited to the event. However, the journalists were locked in a room from which they were unable to ask…

Serbia: Support for N1 journalists facing increasing threats and intimidation

Around 30 people broke into the courtyard of Serbian television channel N1 to express their discontent with the media coverage of the channel, on 30 May 2023. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS) in denouncing the failure of the authorities to promptly react and calling for the safety of N1 media workers to be guaranteed. The smear campaign against N1 television has been intensified by public officials in recent weeks and culminated with a protest of about 30 people for around three hours in the courtyard of the building where…

Serbia: Legal harassment of investigative media outlet KRIK must stop

The legal harassment against Serbian investigative media outlet KRIK continues as the portal was convicted for reporting on a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) case it was facing, at the same time as a new abusive lawsuit has been filed against it. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned organisations in standing in solidarity with KRIK’s newsroom, which is currently fighting 12 legal proceedings, and raising the alarm about the use of SLAPPs in Serbia, considered a growing threat to independent journalism. In recent months, KRIK has been facing multiple lawsuits as a result of public interest…