European Federation of Journalists

Serbia: journalists physically and verbally attacked by football fans

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) condemned physical attacks & threats against TV journalists by football fans in Belgrade (Serbia), while they were reporting, on Wednesday. The IFJ and EFJ called on the Serbian authorities to identify and prosecute the perpetrators.

On 28 August 2019, TV N1 crew, including journalist Mladen Savatovic, and Bosnian TV channel Federalna correspondant Dejan Kozul were attacked while reporting ahead of the football Champions League game between Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys in Belgrade.

N1 journalists were shooting a news report outside stadium about a war tank installed by the Red Star Belgrade fans. While recording interviews, a group yelled “spies”, “thieves”, “American mercenaries” at the journalists and tried to break their camera and microphone.

The same day, Federalna TV correspondent Dejan Kozul was about to shoot on the same topic, when a group of men questioned him about his work and his citizenship, whether he is a Serb, when he said he was making a report for the Sarajevo TV station.

In addition, the Serbian daily Danas was denied accreditation by the Red Star Club management.

Together with their Serbian affiliates, the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) and the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS), IFJ and EFJ called on Serbian authorities to urgently and thoroughly investigate these attacks and threats. IFJ and EFJ reported the case to the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism.

Picture credit: N1.