Support for journalist whose house was burned down – Milan Jovanović

December 21, 2018

Someone tried to kill a 70-year-old journalist from Grocka, Milan Jovanović, who wrote about local corruptionist affairs. The perpetrators burned his house down, and his life was saved by his wife. Everything they owned burned down. Even the oxygen tank, without which he has trouble breathing, along with the medication he is taking, since he has cardiac issues and asthma. We need to gather two million dinars urgently for:

– Health needs (medication and examinations)

– Other urgent needs (food, clothing, personal hygiene items, legal and administrative expenses)

– Long term solution of his family’s housing problem.

We are fundraising to help Milan Jovanović and his family through, an authorized platform that can accept credit card payments. Please find detailed instructions on how to donate inside this PDF document.  

UPDATE #5: Good news! Authorized expert evaluates that it is possible to reconstruct the burned house of journalist Milan Jovanović, but the exact cost is still not calculated. So far we have raised over 1,700,000 RSD. We thank everyone who helped. Our goal is to have Milan and his family return to their home as soon as possible.

UPDATE #4: IMPORTANT NOTICE! In the five days of the campaign to help journalist Milan Jovanović whose house was burned down on Wednesday, we have raised over a million and a half dinars! We are moving on, since the Jovanović family lost virtually everything they had.

REPORT #1: The first tranche of money, 150,000 RSD for the most immediate help for journalist Milan Jovanović has been transferred to his wife’s bank account today. The Jovanović family has also received two oxygen tanks, gifted to them by a generous citizen. So far, in less than 48 hours of the campaign, citizens, organizations, and companies have donated over 800,000 RSD. We will keep going, because the Jovanović family lost literally everything they had when their home was burned down by two Molotov cocktails in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. The money will be used for medication, clothes, new documents, house supplies, repairing their home… We will spend the money in agreement with the family, according to what they determine are their most necessary needs.

UPDATE #3: IMPORTANT NOTICE! In less than 24 hours we have raised almost 750,000 RSD to help Milan Jovanović, the journalist whose house was burned down two nights like that. Thanks everyone for the donations! We are moving on! We are gathering money for medication, clothing, new personal documents, house repairs… Solidarity!

UPDATE #2: The oxygen tank has been supplied in the meantime, thanks to a woman who called the Foundation and donated this medical device! Thanks to this donation, all the funds raised up until now will help with providing the Jovanović family with other necessary living supplies. We remind that the family has lost virtually everything they owned in the fire which happened the night before last – from their entire wardrobe, documents, household devices, phones and the house itself. We’re moving on with the campaign. Let’s try and raise as much money as possible! The new goal is 1 million dinars for health-related requirements (medicines and health exams), other urgent need (food, clothing, personal hygiene, legal and administrative expenses) and initial support in resolving the housing problem in the long term.

UPDATE #1 Thanks to all who have donated so far! The money needed for the purchase of the device and medication has been raised in a record amount of time, 8 hours, and are being purchased presently. The goal has been raised from 100.000 to 500.000 dinars and we are now continuing with raising funds for other most urgent needs of Milan’s family – food, clothes, personal hygiene and legal and administrative expenses. Of course, the actual needs of the family exceed this amount as well, firstly because of the long-term resolution of the housing issue, but we will keep you informed of the situation and further plans for help in the coming days.

This is the piece on the attack itself:

CENZOLOVKA: Attempted Murder of Journalist  Milan Jovanović: House Burned Down, Shots Fired at the Front Door

The Jovanović family has been left without anything – almost everything inside the house has burned down or been damaged, but the most urgent issue is the fact that 70-year-old Milan has been left without his medication and an oxygen tank which he had previously gotten through the Public Institute of Social Welfare.

Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation is inviting non governmental organizations and associations, and any other organization as well as all citizens, to make a charity contribution in order for the 100.000 dinars to be raised as soon as possible, allowing Jovanović to purchase medication, inhaler, oxygen tank, food and clothes. 

This is the part of the news piece about what happened to the Jovanović family, published by Cenzolovka

– Everything, everything… everything has been destroyed, all that I’ve worked for, for over 60 years… I have nothing now – breathing heavily, repeats Milan Jovanović, retired police officer and journalist from Vrčin, a village just off Belgrade, as he shows us around the house where every room has burned down.

The ones on the ground floor, were he was sleeping have burned down completely, and the two rooms on the first floor are full of ash and smoke, with furniture barely recognizable due to the damage caused by the fire.

The garage and the car inside it burned down to the ground, after two unknown persons threw two “Molotov cocktails” at it the night before. There is still a year left of paying off the car, only the frame of which now remains.

– I have nothing anymore, not even clothes, I ran out of the house in my pajamas, and this jacket and trousers which I have on me were lend to me by neighbors – says the 70-year-old Jovanović.

– There’s nothing left. This is dreadful… There’s nothing, not here nor upstairs – he points to his room as he steps carefully over his belongings which are charred or completely destroyed and scattered all over the floor, crackling beneath our feet.

Left without heart or asthma medication

Everything’s all muddled up on the floor: books with charred covers, half burned papers, pieces of rug crumbling under the weight of footsteps, linen, pieces of paint off the walls, clothes…

– I have no medications, no medical records. My inhaler is destroyed. Money, personal documents, memories, everything, everything… – says Jovanović as he fights for air.

This man has got three bypasses and bronchial asthma, which requires him to use an oxygen tank, which he’s acquired through his social insurance. This device has also burned down. Jovanović says that he would never be able to get another one, as it’s too expensive.

The inside of almost the entire house is black or dark grey because of the ashes and smoke. The fire has peeled off the walls, destroyed the cupboards, knocked down doors. All the windows are shattered with glass all over the floors. Here and there a brick can be seen under the grey surfaces.

The shelf which has burned down is barely holding in place. The books with black covers are scattered all over the floor. The bed inside the room where Jovanović used to sleep in is now a pile of unrecognizable parts. The metal frame of the shelf has survived the fire, but everything once on there has gone up in smoke.

Inside the bathroom everything is black: the sink, the washing machine, the boiler, as well as the mirror frame. Daylight coming in through the little window doesn’t reach a good part of the bathroom, the black bathtub looks as if it has been turned into a black hole.

– I survived only thanks to my wife. I was sleeping here, my wife was sleeping upstairs. I didn’t hear anything, since I took my heart and asthma medication which knocked me out a bit. My wife heard the glass shatter in the moment when they broke the window to throw in the “Molotov cocktails”. She also heard gunshots after that. She ran out on the balcony and saw two hooded men who then escaped. She rushed down the stairs, ran into my room, woke me up and dragged me outside. And at the very last minute too, since I’d already started to suffocate.

As he was barely breathing he first went to the ER and after that to the hospital.

Later on the police came, and they are now looking into the bullets found outside the garage, footage from surrounding surveillance cameras, talking to witnesses…

*This campaign will be updated with further information in the coming days.