Photos: Marko Risović, SĆF

Acquittals in Slavko Ćuruvija murder case represent defeat for Serbian judiciary, prosecution, journalists and citizens

March 4, 2024

Speaking to TV N1, Jelena Ćuruvija Đurica, daughter of murdered journalist Slavko Ćuruvija and honorary president of the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, said that, with the acquittals of those accused of her father’s murder, she was “not the only one defeated”, but rather the judiciary, prosecutor’s office, journalists and citizens also lost.

“I can only explain this kind of verdict by thinking that the people who worked in the service back then and worked on assassinations of political dissidents of the Milošević-Marković regime (former Serbian president Slobodan Milošević and first lady Mirjana Marković) are still active,” said Ćuruvija Đurica, adding that these people are stronger than all institutions and authorities.

She noted that this verdict sends to journalists and citizens a “terrifying message – we can destroy you, maybe even kill you, and no one will be held accountable for that”, and that, after everything, “only ashes remain”.

Alongside the many international journalists’ associations, governmental and non-governmental organisations, diplomats and politicians to have already condemned the verdict, as reported in our previous Media Brief, the International PEN centre also condemned the acquittals of those convicted of murdering Ćuruvija, calling for all those responsible for the crime to be brought to justice.

“The outrage felt in Serbia and beyond is a justified response to a verdict that sent out shockwaves amongst Serbian writers and journalists, who are working in an increasingly toxic and suffocating atmosphere, in which impunity remains the norm,” writes PEN International, before once again urging the Serbian authorities to “systematically, publicly, and unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and targeted attacks against writers and journalists”.