Council of Europe issues warnings over death threats for four journalists in Serbia

April 16, 2024

The Council of Europe has issued warnings prompted by threats made against Serbian journalists Dinko Gruhonjić, Ana Lalić Hegediš, Vanja Đurić and Željko Veljković.

The Council of Europe’s Safety of Journalists platform announced a warning in the category “attacks on the physical safety and integrity of journalists” following hundreds of death threats sent via social media platforms and email to Gruhonjić and Lalić Hegediš.

In the category “harassment and intimidation of journalists”, the Council issued a warning prompted by threats made in the online space against N1 Television journalist Vanja Đurić and Nova S Television journalist Željko Veljković.

The campaign of threats against Ana Lalić Hegediš and Dinko Gruhonjić has since continued, despite two people having been arrested for making threats.

Far-right political party Zavetnici [Oathkeepers], which has been announced as being set to participate in the new Government of Serbia, filed a lawsuit against the two journalists for alleged hate speech.

The entire campaign against Lalić Hegediš and Gruhonjić is based on a tampered video and a provocative interpretation of their statements. They have received support from university professors in Serbia, the region and around the world, the International Association of Scientists, the PEN Centre, the OSCE, the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia and others.