Ever Tougher Media Situation Prompts EFJ to Send International Mission to Serbia

October 15, 2017

A group of media professionals and activists has initiated the signing of a Declaration for the Freedom of the Media, due to what they call “media darkness in Serbia that must be opposed”.

The initiative was launched by the “Group for Freedom of the Media”, along with the message that “a choice no longer exists” and that it is disgraceful to remain silent. To date, the proclamation has been signed by hundreds of journalists, activists, citizens, media outlets, journalists’ and media associations and NGOs.

Commenting on the actions of the group, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said that she hadn’t noticed that the media in Serbia are afraid to say anything about her personally, the Government or the President of Serbia. She also stated in the European Parliament that “there is no objective journalism” in Serbia, which prompted condemnation from the local media public.

Meanwhile, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has decided to send an international mission in response to “imperiled media freedoms” in Serbia, calling on the Council of Europe and the OSCE to continue pressuring President Aleksandar Vučić and the Serbian government.

Speaking to the Radio Free Europe, the EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård evaluated Serbia as currently the worst example of violations of media freedom in the Balkans, noting that the constant pressure on the media coming from the authorities in the Western Balkans has been highlighted repeatedly by EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.