March 14, 2024

14.03.2024 – SEEMO Condemns Threats Against Journalist Ksenija Pavkov in Novi Sad, Serbia

Ksenija Pavkov, journalist from N1 TV ( in Serbia has faced a disturbing onslaught of insults and threats, including ones such as threats of slaughter and bone-breaking. These threats stem from her coverage of protests supporting a mother whose children were taken away by the Social Welfare Center (Centar za socijalni rad ) in Novi Sad, Serbia. These protests have seen a disturbing trend of excluding all journalists, regardless of their affiliation, effectively hindering their ability to report on the events unfolding.

Pavkov’s name has been dragged through the mud on various social media platforms these past days, with appalling insults and threats directed towards her simply for doing her job. This wave of hostility follows her report on protests held in support of a woman whose children were removed by the Social Welfare Center in Novi Sad, Serbia. Pavkov’s balanced reporting resulted in a barrage of terrifying threats and comments.

According to the Social Welfare Center, in this case three minor children lived in unsafe and unhygienic conditions in an apartment that was covered with a pile of garbage. The case was discovered by police after a fire broke out in the apartment in November last year and the Social Welfare Center was contacted to react and protect the children. The police filed a criminal complaint against the mother for child abuse. Three local NGOs started an initiative that the children should be returned to the mother. According to the three NGOs this case shows the intention to “kidnap children from their parents, give them abroad for adoption, sell them”.

Despite feeling frightened and unsafe due to these threats, Pavkov remains determined to continue her work as a journalist. However, the situation has prompted N1 to report these threats to the authorities. Pavkov holds little expectation for significant action given previous experiences of safety threats while working.

This atmosphere of distrust and hostility towards journalists is particularly concerning. Both critical and pro-government media representatives have faced rejection and hostility at the same events. This erosion of trust in journalists is a direct consequence of broader societal issues and institutional failures, with journalists bearing the brunt of public frustration and anger.

This situation underscores the urgent need for greater protection of journalists and a concerted effort to address underlying social and institutional challenges. It is imperative that steps are taken to ensure the safety and freedom of journalists to report without fear of reprisal.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns threats and attacks directed towards journalist Ksenija Pavkov during her coverage of protests in Novi Sad, Serbia. Such actions undermine press freedom and the fundamental principles of democracy. Journalists must be able to report without fear of intimidation or violence. SEEMO calls on authorities to thoroughly investigate these threats and ensure the safety of journalists in their line of duty. Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and any attempt to silence journalists through intimidation or violence is an assault on the democratic principles we uphold.

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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