SEEMO is deeply concerned about the continuing pressure on journalists in Vranje

According to information before SEEMO, Miroljub Stojcic, the mayor of
Vranje, constantly refuses to give elementary information on the work of
local government to the journalists of the two independent local media
outlets, OK Radio and Vranjske newspaper. This is despite the fact that, as
a public service official, he is obliged to do so. On 6 September, two
representatives of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) in the Municipal Assembly
made verbal threats to Sasa Stojkovic, a journalist working for Vranjske. A
few days later, Nenad Stosic, president of the Municipal Assembly, openly
threatened to arrest the owner of OK Radio.

Speaking about the incident, Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary-General, said,
„SEEMO regards the behaviour of the local officials to be a direct violation
of press freedom and the rights of journalists because all authorities must
treat journalists equally and allow them access to information.“

„Therefore, we urge the Vranje local authorities to respect press freedom
and to allow journalists to do their work freely and without constraints.
SEEMO would also like to emphasise that freedom of expression and a safe
working environment for journalists are the fundamental principles of any
democratic society.“

Vujovic added, „The number of threats on journalists has increased in recent
months and SEEMO has been informed of several serious threats in Serbia
against journalists and editors from RTV B92, Danas daily and Vecernje
novosti daily. Now we have threats from local politicians against OK Radio
and Vranjske newspaper. This is very alarming.“


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