Council of Europe: Serbia’s Press Harassed, Government Controls Media Via Proxies | Beta Briefing

Council of Europe: Serbia’s Press Harassed, Government Controls Media Via Proxies

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 05.03.24 | access_time 13:08

Council of Europe (Photo: Council of Europe/Candice Imbert)

In Serbia, journalists are subject to intimidation and pressure, libel has been only partially decriminalized and the law has enabled state-owned companies to buy private media and thereby nationalize them, the Council of Europe announced on March 5.

Published on the CoE’s Safety of Journalists Platform, an annual report titled “Press Freedom in Europe: Time to Turn the Tide” claimed that, in 2023, journalists throughout Europe were subject to spyware attacks and malicious SLAPPs aimed at obstructing their investigative work and the public’s right to be informed.

According to the document, there were 41 reports of physical violence or attacks on the integrity of journalists in Europe, three of which occurred in Serbia.

Furthermore, a new Serbian law “enables state owned companies to acquire media as an indirect form of nationalization,” the report states. Said law legalized media assets Telekom Srbija “acquired in breach of the 2014 legislation,” the document says, which “opens the path for the further direct capture of private media by the state.”

The report was compiled by fifteen press freedom NGOs and journalists’ associations who are partners of the Safety of Journalists Platform.

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