During the year 2020 serious harm was caused to free and independent journalism, and a response by state authorities to the Covid-19 pandemic created serious challenges for the freedom of the media, the Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists warned in a new report released on April 28.
Several assaults against journalists were reported in Serbia last year during rallies and protests, together with intimidation, threats, detentions, interrogations and verbal threats, often by government officials, says the report "Wanted! Real Action for Media Freedom in Europe."
Eleven warnings were issued in Serbia in 2020, four related to assaults against journalists, and another four to intimidation and harassment. The government responded to six, resolving none of the cases.
The report recalls police violence during Serbian protests last July, when a BETA journalist, Zikica Stevanovic, was beaten even though he presented his journalistic ID. The agency's two cameramen were also injured during the same protests, as well as the Nova.rs portal's journalist, Marko Radonjic. Female journalists are more exposed to threats and insults of a sexual nature, and the organization mentioned a N1 TV journalist, Zaklina Tatalovic, in this context.