SERBIA, SERBIA, 17/02/2011
The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is concerned over continued threats to journalists involved in the production of the investigative program “Insajder”, produced by the Belgrade-based broadcaster B92.
The latest threats occurred in the Serbian city of Lazarevac, after the broadcast of the third part of an "Insajder" series dealing with alleged irregularities in the public enterprise Kolubara. Over the past three weeks, posters offensive to B92 have appeared after each broadcast on Monday evenings.
On 15 February 2011, the posters were substituted with obituaries announcing the imminent “death” of B92, due to a “prolonged and serious anti-Serbian illness”. The names of the B92 editor-in-chief Veran Matic and of the entire “Insajder” team appear below the text. Some posters have been stuck to walls next to a police station. So far, no perpetrators have been found. B92 legal representatives believe that the obituaries may be a warning to potential witnesses willing to testify about financial irregularities at Kolubara.
SEEMO recalls that “Insajder” producer Brankica Stankovic was assigned police protection, due to death threats, after broadcasting a series on corruption in football.
SEEMO Secretary-General Oliver Vujovic said: “We call on the authorities to find the perpetrators and to ensure that freedom of expression is respected, as guaranteed by the Constitution”.