Tabloid lynch of refugees

February 15, 2017

Early February saw Serbian tabloid newspapers, sensationally, without any checking of information received via social networks, spend days writing about how a group of refugees in the Belgrade municipality of Obrenovac attempted to snatch a baby from its pram in front of the child’s mother.

Passions were further heightened by racist outbursts on social networks and expressions of hatred towards refugees, and these were additionally fuelled by Obrenovac Mayor Miroslav Čučković, who said that he felt “rage as a parent”.

It soon transpired that the information was unconfirmed and that the claims lacked any evidence.

Following the incident, however, controls were increased over the 500 refugees being housed temporarily in the Obrenovac barracks, with their freedom of movement also restricted.

Security camera footage showed that there was no attempt to abduct the child, but that a scuffle did break out between migrants and men who were in the company of a mother with a child, during which the pram rolled down the street, but the child was not injured.

Photo: Jana Nikolić / Slavko Curuvija Foundation