April 15, 2009


Belgrade, 15 April 2009

Snezana Malovic
Minister of Justice
Nemanjina 22-26
11000 Belgrade
Via Fax: +381 11 3616-549

Dear Minister Malovic,

The International Press Institute (IPI), the Global Network for a Free Media, and its regional affiliate, the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), would like to call your attention to the still unsolved murder of Slavko Curuvija, Serbian journalist and publisher killed ten years ago next month.

Slavko Curuvija worked for various publications, including the magazine Evropljanin and the Dnevni telegraf, of which he was the director and editor-in-chief. The journalist, who became a critic of the Slobodan Milosevic regime and of the developments in Kosovo, faced increasing interference with his work starting in 1998. The Dnevni telegraf was banned in October 1998, a large fine imposed on him for his publications late that year, and in early 1999 he only narrowly avoided imprisonment. On 11 April 1999, Serbian Orthodox Easter Sunday, Slavko Curuvija was shot dead by two masked men in front of his home in the centre of Belgrade.

As IPI has highlighted in its Justice Denied campaign (http://www.freemedia.at/justicedenied), and as SEEMO has repeatedly reported over the years, nobody has formally been charged with Slavko Curuvija’s murder. The perpetrators of the assassination, as well as its instigators, remain unknown.

Other journalist killings have gone unsolved in Serbia, including that of Milan Pantic, the Jagodina correspondent for Vecernje Novosti, killed on 11 June 2001, and of Dada Vujasinovic, of Duga magazine, killed on 8 April 1994. This lack of progress suggests, at best, a lack of interest in protecting the media by adequately investigating and prosecuting those who attack journalists.

The impending ten-year anniversary of Curuvija’s death is a sad reminder of how far some are willing to go to silence journalists. We call on you to reinvigorate investigative efforts into this crime, and so send a strong signal that Serbian authorities will not tolerate such violence.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

David Dadge
IPI Director

Oliver Vujovic
SEEMO Secretary General