April 15, 2024

15.04.2024 – Reporter Faces Misdemeanor Charges Covering Protests in Belgrade

Police Station Novi Beograd in Belgrade, Serbia has filed a request to initiate misdemeanor proceedings against reporter Marko Dragoslavić (@DragoslavicM ) from FoNet(https://www.fonet.rs/), accusing him of “bold and reckless behavior” during citizens’ protests in Block 63 in Novi Beograd, allegedly violating the Law on Public Order and Peace, despite being on assignment, reporting, and sending video footage to the agency from a protest. The police allege that on 17 February 2024, around 6:30 PM, Dragoslavić with a group of masked young individuals, “kicked and broke a metal construction fence.”

Dragoslavić received a summons to appear for questioning at the Misdemeanor Court in Grocka, Serbia on 14 May 2024.

Dragoslavić recalls that the fence demolition occurred on 15 February 2024, when he sent video footage to FoNet, which the agency published.

The next day, on 16 February 2024, allegedly an undercover policeman identified him during the filming of a peaceful citizens’ protest in Belgrade, although the policeman did not identify himself, but instead took his ID card, photographed it, and, contrary to the provisions of the Police Law, allegedly threw his press accreditation on the ground. Reporter Dragoslavić also possesses video footage of the police identification on 16 February 2024.

Dragoslavić asserts that on 17 February 2024, he again recorded protests, which were peaceful, and denies participating in the “kicking and breaking of the fence,” which was already demolished.

The FoNet news agency and Dragoslavić himself will take all legal measures to protect him in the event of misdemeanor proceedings initiated while he was on assignment.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is asking the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs to urgently investigate this case, check all facts and protect the Fonet journalist from a very strange legal case.

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.

#fyp #mediafreedom #seemo #freespeech #southeasteuropemediaorganisation #ngo #journalist #serbia #markodragoslavic #fonet #SEEMO #pressfreedom #mediafreedom #freemedia @DragoslavicM