SERBIA: Serbia - online freedom

SERBIA, 10/06/2014

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) called on the Serbian authorities to respect freedom of information, freedom of internet and press freedom. According to information before SEEMO, journalists Violeta Jovanovic and Dragan Gula Nikolic, both from Mladenovac, a town close to Belgrade, were investigated by the Serbian police following critical comments published on Facebook. Both comments were critical about the handling of the recent floods in Serbia by the authorities. As SEEMO was informed, Nikolic was detained by the Serbian police following a complaint filed by Milorad Cvetnovic, member of the parliament, who was accusing the journalist of “causing damages to the dignity of a high-level representative at the ruling party". The ruling party in Serbia is Srpska napredna stranka (SNS - Serbian Progressive Party) of the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. In the past weeks there were several cases of police investigations on people using internet in Serbia. End of May the Serbian police have arrested three internet-users for spreading false information. This three internet-users posted information on personal Facebook pages about the number of persons killed in the floods that hit Serbia in May and were imprisoned for nine days. Around 20 people have been taken in the police for an interview for allegedly "spreading panic" on Twitter and Facebook, according to the Serbian BlogOpen group.

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