16 August 2015
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is concerned about the behaviour of a police officer towards a journalist in Serbia.
Predrag Blagojevic, a journalist with the news portal Juzne vesti from Nis, was detained and attacked by a police officer on the night between 15 and 16 August 2015. During the Nishville Jazz Festival, the officer asked the reporter for his identification card (ID). Blagojevic did not have his ID with him at the time, so he offered his press document instead. He attempted to make a phone call to prove his identity, but his mobile phone was immediately confiscated and Blagojevic was arrested. The arresting officer hit the journalist twice on the head while taking him into custody. Blagojevic later obtained medical evidence of his injuries.
“This was a blatant example of an officer overstepping his authority. This type of treatment is completely out of proportion and represents a misuse of force and an endangerment to human rights”, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic stated. “We call on the public institutions in Serbia to immediately act by investigating the case”. SEEMO is especially worried, as Blagojević has previously received threats for his reporting.
SEEMO’s press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.