Photo: Predrag Mitic, SCF

Quarter of a century since the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija: despondent reminder of the collapse of the state against its own criminal structures

April 16, 2024

On the 25th anniversary of the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, the foundation bearing his name noted that this is the first anniversary “that we are commemorating without any hope that this crime’s organisers and perpetrators will receive punishment”.

Specifically, the Court of Appeal in Belgrade announced in February that it had overturned the verdict of the first-instance court, which sentenced four former members of the Department of State Security to a total of 100 years in prison, and that it had freed them all of responsibility for this crime.

The verdict was condemned by the general public, particularly in light of the proven fact that members of the State Security Department had been monitoring Slavko Ćuruvija right up until the murder itself.

The Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation announced that this anniversary of the murder “will serve as a sad reminder of the collapse of the state in the face of its own criminal structures.”

Marko Somborac, vice president of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia, said that instead of punishing the perpetrators of Ćuruvija’s murder and those who ordered it, new attacks and witch-hunts against journalists are taking place in Serbia.

Živojin Rakočević, president of the Journalists’ Association of Serbia, said that, in Ćuruvija’s case, “justice is dead, but the truth is alive”.

Veran Matić, from the Commission for Investigating Murders of Journalists, said that the acquittal shows that Serbian society “isn’t ready to confront its past and to reform the violent society of the ‘90s”.