European Federation of Journalists

Serbian journalists attacked by police in Kosovo

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Serbian affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS), the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) in condemning the attacks on Serbian cameraman Vladimir Milic as well as journalists Dragana Zecevic and Radmila Komazec on 26 March 2018 in Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo.

They were covering a meeting of the local community about the Kosovo dialogue in the Mitrovica Community Centre. The level of violence was very high as shown in this reportage. Milic, who works for the public television Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), was reportedly attacked by Kosovar policemen who used teargas and destroyed his camera. Zecevic and Komazec, working for the Serbian daily tabloid newspaper„Vecernje novosti“ and Serbian news organisation „Jedinstvo“, were reportedly verbally attacked and pushed to the ground with rifles by representatives of the Regional Operational Support Unit (ROSU), the special police force in Kosovo.

SINOS, UNS, NUNS and the EFJ call on the Kosovo authorities to launch an investigation into this act of violence against the journalists.

In a public statement, the Journalists Union of Serbia (SINOS) “condemns the attack on journalists and cameramen in Kosovska Mitrovica and asked to institutions in southern Serbian region, to punish the perpetrator according to laws and international practice. Two days ago, on Monday, March 26th 2018 cameraman of Serbian Broadcasting (RTS) Vladimir Milic was beaten up by Kosovo police, sprayed of spray and his camera was thrown”.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir said in a statement: “I am deeply concerned about the attacks against these journalists. Media workers need to be allowed to do their job freely without any fear for their safety.”