Threats against Serbian Journalists 'Unacceptable', Says IFJ

Today the

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group the

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed deep concern about serious threats

against Serbian journalists working

for B92 broadcaster and other independent media.

"At the moment when Serbia is seriously considering its application for

EU accession, it is unacceptable that there are still journalists working in

fear of physical attacks just because they carry out their duty," said IFJ General

Secretary Aidan White.

The IFJ says recent

attacks on B92 and threats to the editors of the broadcaster's  Insider investigative journalism show have escalated even after Serbian

President Boris Tadi? stated he would not tolerate violence by hooligans and

criminals.

The IFJ and its

members, the Journalists' Association of Serbia

and the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia

welcomed President Tadi?'s undertaking to  take all the measures necessary to protect

journalists in accordance with the law and to arrest and prosecute anyone

threatening other people's lives.

However, despite

these public assurances followed by the Minister of Interior Ivica Da?i?'s

statement that the police were actively working to identify the persons behind

the threats to B92 and the call from the 

Minister of Justice Snežana Malovi? for the perpetrators to be tracked

down and severely punished, messages on online social networks and graffiti sprayed

on Belgrade walls still threaten the editors of the Insider show with rape, slaughter and murder, in particular after a

programme featuring leaders of banned football fan groups who

escaped Court convictions so far.

"Serbian society and media made a lot of progress

towards democracy in the past years, but these threats and attacks still represent

a real challenge", said White.

The IFJ believes that B92

is the most exposed media because of its record of independence and in depth investigation

even during the terrible years of the Milosevic regime. The IFJ and the EFJ say

that if police and justice are able to  identify

those behind these threats and attacks against journalist, then concrete action

is needed to bring them before justice.

For more

information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 22 15
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in 30

countries.