Serbian authorities must step up their investigation into the killing of journalist and publisher Slavko Curuvija, the International Press Institute and its affiliate, the South East Europe Media Organisation, said today, one month before the 10th anniversary of his death.
Slavko Curuvija was shot dead by two masked men in front of his home in the centre of Belgrade on 11 April 1999, Serbian Orthodox Easter Sunday. He worked for various publications, including the magazine Evropljanin and the Dnevni telegraf, of which he was the director and editor-in-chief.
Curuvija, who reported extensively on the regime of Slobodan Milosevic and the developments in Kosovo, faced increasing interference with his work starting in 1998. The Dnevni telegraf was banned in October 1998, a large fine imposed on Curuvija for his publications late that year, and in early 1999 he only narrowly avoided imprisonment.
The impending 10-year anniversary of Curuvija's death is a sad reminder of how far some are willing to go to silence critical voices, IPI Director David Dadge and SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said in a joint statement. They called on Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic to send a strong signal against such violence by stepping up the investigation.
No one has formally been charged with Slavko Curuvija's murder. Those responsible remain unknown. Other killings of journalists in the country have also gone unsolved, including that of Milan Pantic, the Jagodina correspondent for Vecernje Novosti, slain on 11 June 2001, and of Dada Vujasinovic, of Duga magazine, killed on 8 April 1994.
IPI has called attention to the unsolved killing of Curuvija in its Justice Denied campaign (), and SEEMO has repeatedly reported on the lack of progress in the case. IPI's General Assembly also highlighted the problem of impunity in attacks on Serbian journalists in a resolution passed at its 57th meeting, held in Belgrade in June 2008.