July 10, 2023

10.07.2023 – Protection of Local Media in Serbia – Case OK Radio

The South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) is asking the authorities in Serbia for better protection of local media and local journalists.

One of the latest examples of problems that local media in Serbia have is OK Radio from Vranje, Serbia.

On 26 June 2023, a local businessman was sentenced by a Court in Vranje to one year and six months in prison for threats made against Olivera Vladković, the owner of OK Radio, and against one employee of this radio.

The same businessman was sentenced last year in October for threats to the owner of OK Radio to fourteen months prison sentence.

OK Radio is for a longer period the target of threats and attacks. Last year one person with a bucket of paint on his back and a spray, entered the premises of the cafe “No Comment” in Vranje – which is located in the same building as the editorial office of OK Radio and owned by the same owner. This person splashed white paint on everything in front of him in the café.

Also last year three masked hooligans broke most of the windows in the cafe during the night. OK Radio depends on the financial support provided by No Comment Caffe.

In the past, the radio owner and journalist received many threats.

Last year on the night of 25th June also Veran Matić, Chairman of the Commission for investigating killings of journalists in Serbia and member of the Permanent Working Group for Safety of Journalists, was in Vranje a victim of a smear campaign after his visit to OK radio. Posters with offensive text and photos with fake arrest warrants of Matić were plastered all over Vranje. Matić and other members of the Standing Working Group for the Safety of Journalists visited OK Radio to show support to the radio and following the visit, posters against Matić appeared around Vranje.

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