October 15, 2018

Media and journalists’ associations in Serbia should decide during the course of this week whether they will reactivate their status in the Permanent Working Group for the Security of Journalists after a gap of almost a year.

The working group was established almost two years ago with a composition of representatives of seven journalists’ and media associations, together with representatives of the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Its work was interrupted in November 2017, when five associations froze their status in that group. This move came in response to the prosecutor’s office in Belgrade rejecting a criminal charge filed by a journalist of daily newspaper Danas against security staff at the inauguration of President Aleksandar Vučić in May 2017, when they behaved violently towards the journalist in question, but also other journalists and citizens, with which the public was familiarised following the publishing of photographs from that event.

On the eve of last week’s informal meeting with representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office and the police, journalists’ and media associations expressed their willingness to return to the working group on condition that cooperation between representatives of the state and the associations be better than it has been to date, by everyone adhering to the adopted Action Plan for the activities of this group.