March 12, 2024

12.03.2024 – SEEMO Condemns Death Threats Against Journalist

The Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina (Nezavisno Društvo Novinara Vojvodine – NDNV – has reported death threats against its president and journalist Ana Lalić Hegediš to the High-Tech Crime Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade, Serbia. Lalić Hegediš received these threats following her public stance about nationalism and ultra-nationalism in Serbia and on the construction of a church in Liman, part of Novi Sad, Serbia. She said that churches spring up in Novi Sad like tobacconists, which is not motivated by religious needs. Since she presented her view during an event last week, she is receiving threats, including calls for her to be slain in the center of Novi Sad.

It is not first time that there was a threat against Lalić Hegediš. In 2020 she was arrested over an article she wrote about conditions inside a Serbia hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and after that she was targeted in an online smear campaign.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the death threats against Ana Lalić Hegediš. SEEMO emphasizes the need to protect journalists and ensure their safety, particularly in cases where they face intimidation and threats for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The threats against Lalić Hegediš are viewed as a serious attack on press freedom and independent journalism in Serbia. SEEMO calls on the authorities to investigate the matter swiftly and ensure that those responsible for issuing threats are brought to justice. This incident serves as a reminder of the challenges journalists continue to face in Serbia and underscores the importance of upholding press freedom as a fundamental pillar of democracy.

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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