On 1 November 2023 around 11 a.m. an attack took place against journalists from Niška Inicijativa (https://niskainicijativa.rs/) while they attempted to film the administrative building of the public nursery school Pčelica in Niš, Serbia. During this incident, the editor of the Niška Inicijativa portal, Srđan Nonić, and a cameraperson, A.P., were assaulted by an employee of Pčelica administration.
Allegedly the attack occurred when the administrative staff member noticed Srđan filming. She immediately approached and forcefully grabbed his phone while he was recording. She refused to return the phone and tried to walk away. In a quick turn of events, Srđan managed to retrieve his phone as it fell to the ground while she was attempting to get away. Video of the attack (https://www.facebook.com/100071908376741/videos/266825196353954/?ref=embed_video&t=0).
Throughout the incident, the staff member repeatedly shouted, physically assaulted Srđan and A.P., issued threats and insults. The incident occurred in a public area outside the building.
The police were contacted immediately, as were the designated police and prosecution contacts responsible for cases involving attacks on journalists. A.P. was visibly distressed, a fact confirmed by the Emergency Medical Service report. At the police station, all involved parties provided statements, and all recordings from the journalist’s phone were handed over to the “criminal techniques” department. In the past years there were several attacks on journalist working for Niška Inicijativa
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns this violent attack against the Niška Inicijativa journalists and expresses deep concern regarding the safety of journalists in Serbia. This incident highlights the need for greater protection of press freedom and safety in Serbia.
South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.
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