Aleksandar Stankov, a journalist from the portal Juzne vesti, received several disturbing, but also threatening messages from the president of the Association of families of the kidnapped, killed and missing people from Kosovo and Metohija, Simo Spasic, after several months of harassment. In his messages, Simo Spasic told the journalist that he and some of his colleagues from other media should be impaled, and that he regrets because some of the members of the journalist’s family were not killed.
Namely, the harassment of our colleague Stankov started even earlier in the spring, after Juzne vesti published an article about the premises that the organization led by Simo Spasic received for use from the City of Nis. It all culminated in the last few days when the journalist reported the case to the police and the prosecution, but that did not stop the attacker from continuing to harass and intimidate. After the police talked to Spasic, other threatening messages were sent to Stankov.
The prosecution has already initiated the process because of everything that had happened in the previous few months, and characterized the case as a criminal act of persecution.
For the SafeJournalists Network Aleksandar Stankov said: “I feel upset and threatened by the first message that arrived on August 29, and now all that is only reinforced by a series of messages that arrived after Spasic was warned not to send them. It is clear that he is not giving up, despite the warning of the police. I have informed the public twice in consultation with the prosecutor and I expect the process to be completed in accordance with the law. ”
President of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia, Zeljko Bodrozic, welcomed the quick reaction of the competent authorities and said that he hopes that this case will be processed quickly and that the perpetrator will be adequately punished. “It would be a clear message to the public that this type of behaviour is unacceptable”, Bodrozic said.
The SafeJournalists Network, which gathers more than 8,200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, condemns the threats made against Aleksandar Stankov. We demand a quick and efficient investigation and an adequate punishment for the perpetrator.
The SafeJournalists network will inform all relevant domestic and international actors about this case of the attack.
Every attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.
Skopje – Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Zagreb, September 6, 2021
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
BH Journalists Association
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Independent Journalists Association of Serbia
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro