UNS Conference: Ending Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Twenty years ago, in the early morning of April 23, 1999, during the Kosovo war, NATO bombed the headquarters of the Serbian public broadcaster – Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) – in downtown Belgrade, killing 16 of its employees. To commemorate the bombing, declared a war crime by Amnesty International, Radio Television Serbia (RTS) and the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) are organizing an international conference in Belgrade on April 22-23. The conference will be an opportunity for journalists, media professionals and human rights activists to discuss growing threats against the media over the past two decades, as well as…

Serbia: IFJ/EFJ condemn targeted campaign against N1 television

N1, a cable, regional news channel operating in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, is facing a targeted campaign of pressures and threats by state officials. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have joined their Serbian affiliates, the Independent Union of Serbia’s Journalists (NUNS) and the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS), in condemning the attacks on media freedom and urged the authorities to stop targeting and labelling media. In a letter sent to the IFJ, N1 management states that the government’s objective is to “compromise and intimidate N1 by labelling it as an anti-Serb TV”. N1 is exclusive CNN news affiliate channel for…

Serbia : Public TV building stormed by anti-government protesters

A group of around 100 anti-government protesters stormed the building of the Serbian national broadcaster RTS in Belgrade on Saturday 16 March, demanding to be allowed to make a public address live on air. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) join their Serbian affiliates, Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), in condemning this incident and demanding all parties to respect RTS’s editorial independence. Protesters, who wanted to voice their opposition to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, had to be evacuated from the RTS building after about 50 riot police were…

Serbia: Commission to solve wartime journalists’ murders expanded

Over 40 journalists have disappeared or been killed in the territory of Serbia since the break of former Yugoslavia in 1992, but only few investigations were concluded, even with interference and support from international organisations. The Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists in Serbia has been working in solving the cases since 2012. The decision to expand its capabilities and resources to further the fight against impunity for murders of journalists was announced by the president of the Commission Veran Matic, on 2 August. The scope now is set to include murders of journalists on the territories of Kosovo and…

EFJ and IFJ concerned by disappearance of Serbian journalist Stefan Cvetković

UPDATE 15.06.2018 Stefan Cvetković, the Serbian journalists reported missing on the night between 13-14 of June, has been found unhurt by the local authorities in the northern town of Bela Crkva and has been taken to the local police station, the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic told in a news conference. The further information on the situation is yet to be released. ———————- European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) expressed a deep concern regarding the disappearance of a Serbian journalist Stefan Cvetković on the night between 13th and 14th of June 2018, as reported by the local authorities. Stefan Cvetković has been…

Joint mission to Serbia: our recommendations

Following concerns about the state of media freedom in Serbia expressed by both Serbian journalists and media organisations as well as international organisations and institutions, an international joint fact-finding mission comprised of representatives from the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) visited Serbia from 18th-19th January 2018. “It was encouraging to follow the big interest in Serbia on our fact finding mission. Without any doubt our mission shows that there are a huge need of creating an environment where all journalist by decent working conditions can do their…

Newsweek Serbia ceases publishing

Adria Media Group (AMG), a major Serbian publishing house, announced on 1 August that it would cease publishing the Serbian edition of the popular US-owned Newsweek magazine. AMG’s National Bank of Serbia accounts were frozen by the Serbian government in early July, the group reported. AMG quoted the Tax Administration Office saying in a statement on 6 July that the blocking of AMG’s bank accounts was made “to secure the collection of public revenue for which the control process is in progress, as there is a risk that the taxpayer will hurt, disable or make it ineffective”.  Requests for further…

Ringier Axel Springer Serbia dismissing journalists at New Year’s eve

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is supporting the call of its affiliates in Serbia, the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS), the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) together with the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina (NDNV), the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM), the Business Association of Local Press (LP) who strongly protested against the new mass dismissal of media workers at the Serbian branch of Ringier-Axel Springer, one of the largest press publishers in Serbia. According information sent to the EFJ, Ringier Axel Springer Serbia dismissed just before Christmas day more than fifteen journalists in daily…

Serbia: Journalist Jovica Vasic broke a ten-day hunger strike

The European Federation of Journalists backs its Serbian affiliates UNS, NUNS and SINOS in their call to protect Jovica Joca Vasic, journalist and publisher at daily Narodne Novine, who engaged in a hunger strike for 10 days from 8 to 18 October. With this hunger strike, Vasic wished to draw attention to his extremely precarious situation he, together with many other employees at his newspaper, has been experiencing as a journalist: “Working conditions have worsened at alarming level these last ten years, and it is not possible anymore to do our profession in a dignified way” he said. UNS, NUNS and SINOS…

Serbian authorities must investigate the murder of Luka Popov

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today condemned the murder of radio journalist Luka Popov in Srpski Krstur, Serbia. The Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS), two EFJ affiliates, and the Journalists Association of Vojvodina (DNV) have urged the police to carry out a swift investigation of this murder. Luka Popov, 60 years old, journalist for local radio stations in Čoka and Novi Kneževac, was killed on 16 June in his home in Srpski Krstur. He was found dead by his brother, this morning. The EFJ joined the alert about this tragic event published on Mapping…

What journalists unions, governments and employers must do to defend freedom of association ?

Journalists from across the Balkans and Eastern Europe met in Belgrade (Serbia) on 10-11 October 2015 to discuss the status of journalism in the region and the campaign for freedom of association to enable journalists to freely organise in unions. They discussed the struggles facing journalists, the precariousness of their employment, the low salaries and poor contracts the hostility of employers to journalists unions and the pervading climate of insecurity and fear. This is a struggle not just for improved conditions for journalists, but for a healthy and vibrant journalists sector that can play its democratic role in serving the…

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