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Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Serbia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2008
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Serbia, February 2008, available at: [accessed 11 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In April, the neo-Nazi group National Formation made death threats against Dinko Gruhonjic, head of the Vojvodina branch of the independent news agency BETA and chairman of the Independent Journalists' Association of Vojvodina. The threats, posted on National Formation's Web site, stemmed from Gruhonjic's coverage of the group, the journalist told CPJ. Among other things, the coverage described a 2005 attack in which members armed with crowbars attacked people marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a pogrom launched against Jews throughout Germany and parts of Austria in 1938, according to local and international press reports. National Formation leader Goran Davidovic had threatened Gruhonjic in the past, denouncing him as a traitor and an enemy of the Serbian people.

One of two hand grenades planted on a windowsill outside the bedroom of Dejan Anastasijevic, an investigative reporter and editor for the Belgrade newsweekly Vreme, exploded at around 3 a.m. on April 13, Anastasijevic told CPJ. The explosion caused extensive damage to the journalist's apartment and several cars parked outside but did not harm Anastasijevic or his wife, who were asleep in the bedroom at the time. In addition to his work as an investigative reporter for Vreme, Anastasijevic had written extensively about torture, abuse, persecution, and harassment of Croats, Muslims, and other non-Serbs during the Bosnia and Croatia wars of the 1990s. Eight former Serbian paramilitaries were briefly detained, but no charges were filed.

Stefan Cvetkovic, editor-in-chief of the independent broadcaster TNT in Bela Crkva, received anonymous death threats by phone in August. Cvetkovic said he believed the threats could be in response to his station's coverage of a police scandal. Six months before, TNT broadcast a hidden-camera video showing two Bela Crkva police officers snorting a white powder off a café tabletop. The two officers were later fired, according to the Belgrade-based Association for Independent Electronic Media (ANEM). TNT had also reported on a variety of other sensitive topics, ANEM said, including local corruption and economic and social issues.

On October 16, an unidentified assailant stormed into the home of Vesna Bojicic, a Serbian-language correspondent for Voice of America, beating and threatening her in connection with her reporting. The attacker cited Bojicic's purported "bias in favor of Albanians" and said he would kill her and abduct her child if she did not stop reporting, the Belgrade-based Association of Independent Electronic Media said. Bojicic told VOA she would continue reporting in Kosovo "regardless of what Serbs or Albanians think." According to local press reports, Bojicic had been attacked previously. Her house was set on fire during ethnic unrest between the Albanian majority and Serbian minority in March 2004.

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