The Protector of Citizens, Mr. Zoran Pašalić, stated that journalists in Serbia had been working in difficult conditions for several years, often exposed to physical and verbal attacks and announced that a single database on attacks on journalists, which the Institution set up with professional associations and trade unions, would be a sort of systemic support.
"I have repeatedly warned of the poor situation in the media and demanded that individuals responsible for threats and attacks on journalists be punished, their position and work being especially exacerbated amid the current pandemic. In addition, murders and physical attacks on journalists and their property have not been resolved for many years", Mr. Pašalić said on the occasion of 2 November, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
"Competent institutions are obliged to create a safe environment for their work, and the database we are creating is just one of the steps in that direction. A single database on attacks and pressures on journalists will be a kind of systemic support for journalists’ work and independence, given that the institution of the Protector of Citizens, as an independent high-ranking state institution handling human rights protection, upholds it, “Mr. Pašalić stated.
The Protector of Citizens stated that this database should be involved in the Action Plan for the implementation of the Media Strategy, as well as that special emphasis will be placed on economic pressures because journalists are mostly exposed to such pressures and because they mostly affect their life and professional work.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists was recognized by a United Nations’ decision in 2013, following the killings of French journalists Gislen Dipon and Claude Verlon during their reporting from the African state of Mali.