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Associations of citizens and journalists in Serbia support the demands of the “Serbia against violence” protests

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BELGRADE – Associations of citizens, journalists and media on Saturday called on relevant institutions to urgently take concrete measures to respond to citizens’ demands arising from the “Serbia Against Violence” demonstration.

In a joint statement it is indicated that for years they have highlighted the disastrous effect of media contents that encourage violence, spread panic, disinformation, malicious content and manipulation, considering that such a media scene is is developed only because laws are systematically circumvented, and institutions do not respond to violations of laws and regulations.

“The citizens of Serbia have very clearly identified the problems and, among the demands they made after two tragic events that affected Serbia, they demand from the competent institutions the abolition of the EMN Council, the revocation of the licenses of TV Pink and TV Happy, the closure of the written press and tabloids which publish false news, deception and continually violate the journalistic code,” the statement said.

Associations of citizens, journalists and media called on MPs to initiate the dismissal of members of the EMN Council and on the Prime Minister of Serbia to undertake as soon as possible the adoption of amendments to certain parts of the media law electronic, in accordance with the priorities of the media strategy.

The modification of the articles of the law which regulate the persons authorized to appoint the members of the Council was requested, so that the committees of the Parliament of Serbia and Vojvodina cannot appoint the members of the Council; then to determine the criteria and conditions that the candidates must meet, as well as the election of the new REM Council, immediately after the adoption of the amendments.

Legal nominators of members of the REM Council – accredited universities, churches and religious communities, national councils, publishing associations and journalists’ associations, associations of cinema, stage and theater artists and composers’ associations, citizens’ associations whose objectives are the realization of freedom of expression. and the protection of children – are invited to call, as nominators, on the members of the REM Council to resign.

The organizations call on government officials, state-owned enterprises and all state-funded institutions to immediately end any form of media funding that violates the law on any basis, including advertising, projects and public procurement.

The Prosecutor’s Office is called upon to respond without exception and without delay to any form of promotion and call for violence in the media, and the courts to rule on the lawsuit brought by citizens’ associations due to the illegal decision of the Council of the REM to renew the national broadcasting licenses to television stations which have violated the laws.

“After the court decision, the new composition of the REM Council must launch a new call for national licenses, respecting the conditions provided for by law and the regulation on the minimum conditions for the provision of media services,” the press release said.

It is added that the initiative, which aims to resolve the current crisis within the institutions, is based on the conclusions of international institutions, the conclusions of the EMN itself, national experts and national organizations that deal with the theme of the state of the media and the media. regulation.

The initiative was signed by the Media Association, Online Media Association, Women’s Autonomous Center, Belgrade Center for Security Policy, Belgrade Center for Human Rights, BIRODI , the Center for Contemporary Politics, the CRTA, the European Movement in Serbia, Civic Initiatives and the Youth Initiative. for human rights. The signatories of the initiative are the Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights, the Association of Independent Journalists of Vojvodina, the Association of Independent Journalists of Serbia, New Optimism, Partners Serbia, the Association of Businesses of Association of local and independent media “Local Press” and the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation.

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