During the course of yesterday, in Zvecan and Mitrovica North, several incidents took place in which journalists were attacked and their safety was threatened.
The ATV team was attacked with stones while they were reporting on the protest in front of the Municipality building in Zvecan. According to the media, several masked persons shot at a moving vehicle, resulting in minor injuries to journalist Fatlum Jashari and cameraman Blend Taci, as well as breaking the car’s glass.
In Mitrovica North, after the arrest of M.M. journalists were prevented from doing their work. Namely, Radio KiM journalist Zorica Krstic Vorgucic reported that recording was not allowed, and that using a phone could be “very dangerous” – “both for the phone, for the journalist, but also for the participants of the protest who called or tried to record something”. the journalist stated.
Masked people approached journalists, warned them and aggressively told them not to record and take photos, because there would be consequences. According to Krstic Vorgucic, the photos of one of the journalists were deleted from her mobile phone.
The four-member crew of TV Nova S was forbidden to record, with an inappropriately rude and violent address.
The editor of the Kossev portal, Tatjana Lazarevic, also informed the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia that they attacked her on several occasions, forbidding her to report, and tried to stop the recording and take away her phone.
The journalists did not even manage to get a statement from the representatives of the Serbian List, and this party did not even issue a statement.
A particularly dangerous campaign continued today through part of social networks, where Tatjana Lazarevic is specifically targeted, as well as journalists in general, as someone who is responsible for arrests and insecurity.
The SafeJournalists network, which represents more than 8,200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, joins its members the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia and the Association of Journalists of Kosovo in their concern for the safety of journalists reporting in the North of Kosovo and calls on all actors, including all political entities, and relevant institutions to urgently stop the targeting and attacks on journalists.
The SafeJournalists network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.
Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.
Pristina – Skopje – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Belgrade – Podgorica, 14.06.2023
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
BH Journalists Association
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Independent Journalists Association of Serbia
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro