Activists threatened in Serbia

Several NGOs have made statements expressing concern over the intimidation and arrests of activists, protesters and journalists in Serbia.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Activists threatened in Serbia - NewsMavens
Marija Lukić, YouTube

Why this story matters:

In Belgrade, a series of protests that began in early 2019 have led to serious incidents, including arrests and inappropriate use of force.

The protestors were calling for greater media freedom, and carried roses and candles to honor murdered Serbian journalists. Many were also calling for the removal of President Aleksandar Vucic, who has been suspected of interfering with Serbian media in the past.

State media outlets have ignored the protests or presented them out of context, prompting the WAVE Network to publish a statement in support of Serbian citizens:

"When objective media coverage, freedom of speech and safety are at risk and no longer guaranteed, we must stand in solidarity with civil society activists in these countries. WAVE thus expresses its utmost support of all the Serbian non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, activists and protesters who are trying to raise awareness on political injustice and particularly the ongoing human rights violations of women."

Details from the story:

  • Serbian citizens, women in particular, are exposed to violence under the current political system.
  • In the city Brus, female employees of the mayor reported him for sexual harassment during and after work hours. 
  • One of the women harassed, Marija Lukić, decided to speak about the incidents after being blackmailed for sexual favors. She also received 15,000 unsolicited text messages.
  • When Lukić spoke about her ordeal, she did not receive any institutional support, but women's organizations expressed their support during a protes
  • The mayor of Brus has expressed his intention to resign, but is still in power. The five other cases against him were dismissed due to a lack of evidence. 
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