Government reacts fiercely to political cartoon in newspapers

November 15, 2018

A cartoon caricature published on the front page of daily newspaper “Danas”, one of the few publications in Serbia that is critical of the authorities, has provoked fierce reactions among representatives of the government and its institutions.

The caricature, created by Serbia’s most famous caricaturist, Predrag Koraksic Koraks, depicts Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels cradling and ‘breastfeeding’ two members of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, Aleksandar Martinović and Vladimir Orlić.

The Ministry of Culture and Information and the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina also deemed this cartoon as being shameful and unacceptable, and as an attack on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. According to Vučić himself, however, this caricature addresses the state of democracy in Serbia.

Danas editor-in-chief Dragoljub Draža Petrović said that he interprets such reactions to the cartoon as a form of pressure exerted on the editorial policy of this newspaper. He drew attention to the fact that the caricature did not depict the President of Serbia.

Danas protested the fact that the Ministry of Culture and Information responded on this occasion, noting that it hadn’t reacted when MPs of the ruling party in the National Assembly attacked the journalists of this newspaper, nor when pro-government weekly ‘Ilustrovana Politika’ published an article calling for the lynching of independent media outlets.

Journalist associations have demanded that Information Minister Vladan Vukosavljević and State Secretary Aleksandar Gajović be fired for their “shameless announcement”, and that such cartoon caricatures can be condemned “only by totalitarian ideologies and individuals who don’t understand this form of journalistic expression”.