Work suspended for Inquiry Committee tasked with determining the contribution of the media to early May’s mass murders

August 1, 2023

The work of the Inquiry Committee that was formed on 18th July in the Serbian National Assembly in order to determine the facts and circumstances leading to the two mass murders in early May has been suspended just a few days after it was constituted.

In an unsigned announcement issued by the Serbian National Assembly, the suspension is cited as being based on a request of the lawyer of the parents of the children murdered at the Belgrade primary school to suspend the Inquiry Committee’s work in order to avoid jeopardising the investigation and court proceedings.

This Inquiry Committee, which includes both opposition MPs and those of the ruling majority, was supposed to take into account the security surroundings, the role of the education system and the actions of the competent institutions, both before and after the tragedies that saw the murders of 19 people, and determine the media’s contribution to those tragedies. According to previous announcements, the members of the Inquiry Committee were supposed to call for testimony from, among others, Olivera Zekić, president of the Council of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media.

The network of associations of citizens, journalists and media companies against violence condemned the suspending of the work of the Inquiry Committee, with the assessment that the move is part of the government’s intention to avoid the risk of being held politically accountable for the explosion of violence in society, which would have been made visible through the work of this parliamentary body.