SERBIA: SEEMO expresses concern over media freedom developments in Serbia

SERBIA, SERBIA, 29/09/2014, 13:45

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is concerned over media freedom developments in Serbia

TV channel B 92 announced recently that the political talk show Utisak Nedelje will be postponed until further notice, due to failed negotiations with the show’s host, Olja Beckovic. The clash between the management of the TV station, the author began when Beckovic received a short notice suggestion to move her show from the B92 national frequency to B92 Info, a cable channel covering only 60 percent of the country’s territory.

The host has rejected this offer, calling it a political order, and adding that the show has not been postponed, but actually banned.

Both Beckovic and the editor in chief of B92’s informative program Veran Matic have opposed the transfer, calling it a degradation of the show’s long history and reputation.

SEEMO also condemns hooligan attack on the building of RTV B92. Some 30 hooligans attacked on Sunday, 28 September, the B92 building and the police securing B92, after RTV B92 reported during the day from the Belgrade Pride, Serbia’s LGBT march

Another incident occurred during Serbia’s LGBT Pride march, when a reporter was hit by a stone. Dusan Milenkovic from Blic newspaper was hit on the head by a stone thrown from by a group of hooligans who were protesting the Parade.

SEEMO is deeply concerned at these new developments in Serbia that clearly signalize a deterioration of press freedom rights. “I am quite concerned at these new incidents in Serbia. The atmosphere in which journalists are working seems to be dangerous, both in a verbal and physical way. All pressures on media journalists must be revoked and prevented from happening in the future, for the sake of both human and media rights” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic has stated.

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