An official from Reporters Without Frontiers / Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has warned that the hate speech is much more present in the media in Serbia than in any other country of the region.
The RSF head of the Balkan desk, Pauline Ades-Mevel told Belgrade daily Danas that she met with the representatives of other media freedom organizations who agreed that the media situation in Serbia was bad.
“I met with top representatives of organizations working on media freedoms and we agreed that the situation in the media in Serbia is much worse than in other Balkan countries. The level of hate speech is a concern and the journalists are oftentimes humiliated. We have to condemn that,” Ades-Medel added.
She also said that, at the meeting, the recent caricature, drawn by Predrag Koraksic, portraying Adolf Hitler and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, nursing two officials of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) was discussed since it had caused strong reactions from the authorities, including the Ministry of Culture.
“Although President Aleksandar Vucic claims that the caricature published on the front page of Danas is an example of freedom of speech, that he respects it, that he advocates media freedom and rule of law, and not a week goes by without a journalist in Serbia insulted, attacked or humiliated by state officials,” she warned.
The RSF official strongly criticized the reactions of the authorities and added that her organization is writing a paper about the state of media in Serbia for the European Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
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