On the day marking the 24th anniversary of the murder of journalist and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija (11th April), and in anticipation that the Court of Appeal will soon issue a binding final verdict in the case after a trial lasting almost eight years, the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation organised an event in Belgrade entitled “Defending the Truth”, which included the participation of representatives of the most important international journalism and media freedom organisations.
Speaking in her opening address, alongside Swedish Ambassador to Serbia Annika Ben David, Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation Executive Director Ivana Stevanović said that the final verdict in the case of the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija will represent a watershed ruling for journalists and all Serbian citizens, while it will also send a message about the direction in which this society wants to develop and whether it will confront crimes committed in the name and on behalf of the state.
Speakers at the event included Jelena Ćuruvija, daughter of the murdered journalist and publisher, and Matthew Caruana Galizia, son of murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, as well as Dominique Pradalié, President of the International Federation of Journalists, Pavol Szalai of Reporters Without Borders, Jamie Wiseman, advocacy officer at the International Press Institute, Massimo Morrati of think tank and online newspaper Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT), Maja Sever, President of the European Federation of Journalists, Laurens Hueting, senior advocacy officer at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, Katia Mierzejewska of human rights organisation Article 19, and Tamara Filipović of the Safe Journalists network.
Issuing a joint statement, these representatives of media and press freedom organisations expressed their hope that the upcoming verdict in the case of the murder of Ćuruvija would end the vicious circle of impunity for murders of journalists in Serbia and that justice will finally prevail.
The event’s participants, together with representatives of the diplomatic corps, journalists and citizens, followed in Ćuruvija’s footsteps along the route that he’d taken just prior to his murder – from Belgrade city centre to the building where he lived, where they laid flowers and lit candles on the site of the murder.
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