March 29, 2024

29.03.2024 – Graffiti Targeting N1 on Ministry Building in Belgrade, Serbia

On 26 March 2024, an incident came to light in central Belgrade, Serbia as graffiti bearing the message “N1 Evil”(“N1 Zlo”) was discovered adorning the facade of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government building on Birčaninova Street in Belgrade, Serbia.

A journalist from N1 reached out to the Ministry via email, seeking clarification on its stance regarding the graffiti and any plans for its removal, but as of now, no response has been received.

This targeted act against N1 TV ( underscores the persistent challenges faced by journalists striving to uphold press freedom in Serbia. Such incidents are not isolated, as evidenced by a pattern of attacks including the distribution of offensive leaflets, menacing messages on social media platforms, and now, the defacement of public buildings.

For example on 25 December 2023, there was an attack on N1 reporter Mladen Savatović during coverage of protests in central Belgrade, Serbia. Savatović recounted how a man in his mid-thirties aggressively approached him, making incomprehensible remarks before physically intimidating and verbally assaulting him.

This lack of engagement from public institutions raises troubling questions about their commitment to fostering an environment conducive to free and open discourse. It also highlights a broader trend of hostility towards journalists, not only from N1 but also from other media organizations critical of those in positions of power.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the graffiti against N1 TV and is asking the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government to remove them from the building in Belgrade. It is unacceptable for any institution, especially a governmental one, to remain passive in the face of such blatant attempts to intimidate journalists and stifle independent reporting. SEEMO urges the authorities to promptly investigate this incident, hold the perpetrators accountable, and take concrete steps to ensure the safety and security of journalists in Serbia. Freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of democracy, and any assault on it must be unequivocally condemned and met with swift and decisive action.

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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