SJ: Death threats to Serbian journalist Miljko Stojanovic

Miljko Stojanovic, journalist and correspondent in daily newspaper “Danas” received death threats on social network Facebook, after he interviewed a Ukrainian man who escaped from Lviv, Ukraine. The case was reported to the police, and one of the persons who threatened Stojanovic was identified and detained.

On March 8th “Danas” published an article online by Miljko Stojanovic “A Ukrainian from Lviv who came to Serbia: I don’t want to kill people”. After it was published Stojanovic received many threats and insults on Facebook. In one comment it is written that if he does not delete the text, “the police can only come to list him”. In the same comment it is stated: “I’m not suing, it’s being resolved in another way, I won’t forget this. I will meet him sometime and then let him pray that I do not disfigure him”.

Stojanovic says that he wrote the confession of a man who fled from Ukraine, and it was published on local online news.

“A couple of hours after that, some insulting comments appeared where they labeled the man that he was a Nazi, an Azov, terrible derogatory things about Ukrainians, various pictures and clips of alleged crimes of the UK army with swastikas. I took a few screenshots and posted on my Facebook page and then started threats from several profiles. One of them was literally my neighbor, who lives 50 meters away from my home. That person was detained for 48 hours after which he was released and now has a restraining order”, says Stojanovic.

Miljko Stojanovic says that he doesn’t feel safe and that he is in great fear. He says that he did not receive any protection from the police and that he does not expect that.

The President of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia, Zeljko Bodrozic, stated that this is another case of very dangerous threats to journalists, which is directly related to his journalistic work. He pointed out that: “local journalists are in a very difficult situation and they are often exposed to threats from people they know directly”. He is concerned about the safety of journalists and he hoped that “authorities will take all measures at their disposal to ensure the safety of colleague Stojanovic”.

SafeJournalists Network, representing more than 8,200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, condemns the threats to journalist Miljko Stojanovic and welcomes the fact that the authorities reacted swiftly. We hope that the authorities will conduct the entire procedure swiftly and punish the preparator adequately, also we expect full transparency from the authorities about this case.  We call upon relevant institutions in Serbia to act and secure the safety of journalists.

SafeJournalists Network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.

Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy and rights of all citizens.

Pristina – Skopje – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Belgrade – Podgorica, 14.03.2022

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

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