Investigative reporters dubbed as traitors in compilation video

April 30, 2019

Journalist Slobodan Georgiev, along with his Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), then the investigative portals CINS (Centre for Investigative Journalism of Serbia) and KRIK (Crime and Corruption Reporting Network), found themselves targetted by an unknown author who featured them in a compiled video clip published on Twitter that labels them as traitors and foreign mercenaries, linking their activities to Albanian and Kosovo politicians.

Speaking for Cenzolovka, Georgiev said that the government is “undoubtedly” behind the attack, which is an act of revenge due to photographs published by BIRN and KRIK showing the brother of the President of Serbia, Andrej Vučić, and Zvonko Veselinović, a controversial businessman from the north of Kosovo.

“The government believes that we carried out some sort of synchronised attack on them, and that we did precisely at the time when they are resolving the difficult issue of Kosovo, from which it is concluded that we are traitors,” said Georgiev.

Branko Stamenković, Prosecutor for High-Tech Crime, confirmed that the prosecution has been informed about the incident and that analysis is underway to confirm whether there is room to approach the case ex officio. Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović promised that the police will examine the case of the compiled video recording and forward all information to the prosecution service.

This attack against investigative journalists prompted reactions from journalists’ associations locally, regionally and around the world.

Journalists voiced their protest against this latest attack on colleagues by gathering in front of the Office of the Prosecutor for High-Tech Crime in Belgrade. In response to an invitation from weekly news magazine Vreme, hundreds of journalists and citizens gathered and requested that employees of this institution “accept their job” and react to what are now daily threats directed towards journalists.