Vuk Cvijic, photo: N1

Journalist who covers links between crime and government attacked

May 31, 2024

Vuk Cvijić, a renowned journalist who writes about links between criminals and the authorities in Serbia, but also the security services, was punched in the head in Belgrade city centre by Milan Lađević, director of the pro-government daily tabloid Srpski Telegraf, who has close ties to the Serbian authorities.

The attack was likely motivated by articles about the former Novi Sad police chief who had contacts in the top echelons of the parties in power, but also with Lađević.

“I didn’t expect to be attacked by someone who presents themselves as a journalist. We live in a society of violence, but this stall came as a surprise to me. The regime has switched from attacking journalists online to attacking them on the street,” said Cvijić, a journalist of independent weekly newspaper Radar.

He reported the attack to the prosecution service, which announced that it would investigate. Srpski Telegraf newspaper and other pro-government media outlets, including national television, reported that Cvijić had staged the attack. However, a doctor’s check-up showed that Cvijić had received a blow to the face, after which he was transferred for further treatment.

Cvijić received support from Serbian and international journalists’ associations and organisations, such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, Safe Journalists and OSCE media freedom representative Teresa Ribeiro.

A gathering was also held to show support for Cvijić, with the demand that the attacker be punished.