Serbia: Blogosphere Reacts to Protect Press Freedom

Two hand grenades were placed on a window sill of Serbian journalist Dejan Anastasijevic's apartment on Saturday, April 15. The explosions caused material damage but no injuries. There were numerous comments about who might have stood behind the attack. Bloggers started a petition requesting prompt reaction of the police for the sake of press freedom.

At B92 blog, Milos Vasic writes (SRP):

The fact – a hand grenade exploded on the home window of a [journalist] Dejan Anastasijevic – speaks for itself about the motive of the perpetrator. Serbian Radical Party officials explained that “Dejan Anastasijevic is the favorite witness of Carla Del Ponte” (Jorgovanka Tabakovic, a few days ago); he is “a collaborator of some secret services, and a future witness against [Vojislav] Seselj” (Aleksandar Vucic, in 2004).

What happened is a manifestation of our slow and [unprofessional] judicial system, because they violated the procedure by not notifying the prosecutor and the appointed judge about the case, and the police then stated they had informed them, but the prosecutor and the judges denied that. […]

Let's push that aside. Something else is more interesting: how the media treated the crime. […] the case was carefully neglected by the extreme-right chauvinistic media, except for the Press, whose columnist, my former friend [Bogdan Tirnanic], couldn't resist the temptation to blame [president] Boris Tadic: “Why did Boris visit the offices of Vreme magazine, as somebody could ask why government reps didn’t come?” […]

When mafia consigliore attorney Goran Petronijevic detonated himself live on Fokus Radio […] with theory that [Cedmir Jovanovic] and [Liberal Democratic Party] did the bombing, and when I responded to this [idiotism], orchestrated campaign was triggered both on Fokus Radio and in the printed thing called Pravda.

[…]There is a theory according to which journalists should live on higher floors; that it isn’t hygienic to deal with investigative journalism; it is worse than taking a witness stand in the Hague tribunal against those who ordered political assassinations and worse crimes;

[…] Then former chief of TV Politika, Goran Kozic, joined the [spree of comments]. […] Kozic, who scrambled under some rock after “October 5,” got into the open recently and managed to become editor of Fokus Radio. He stated, “They should use [journalism excellence] award money given by [Bogoljub] Karic, and some by Polt, to buy flats on higher floors […]” (Pravda, April 23, 2007, p. 2).

At his B92 blog, Goran Miletic states (SRP):

[…] My grandmother said: “He sure knows who triggered those grenades.” […] [We] don’t need assumptions, but look forward to hearing the news that the perpetrator was jailed, briefed, and that the efficient judicial process started, the one to determine how it happened, and of course, why that person did it. […]

My friend commented that bombs were thrown by “some lonely, crazy person” and that there was no ordering party. In any case, if police don’t arrest lonely riders or executors with instructing parties, everything is possible and uncertain. If you are a citizen, you don’t know what can strike you, but if you are a person who commits a crime, options are pretty clear. You either get a visit from a government minister, or receive a bullet, during the arrest. Where did the equality before the law disappear?

Shaina of Bosnia Vault writes:

I'm sure most of my readers are aware of the cowardly attack outside of Serbian journalist Dejan Anastasijevic's apartment. According to Dragoljub Žarković, the editor of Vreme; the attack may have been fueled by Anastasijevic's criticism of the recent Scorpions verdict. President Tadic has reacted to the attack by saying: “The state must react with full capacity to such deeds. I will reiterate the fact that offences of this kind represent an attempt to throw Serbia back into the wartime 1990s.” Vreme, the independent paper that Anastasijevic contributes to, also includes a collection of articles on Anastasijevic's attack in Serbian. Belgrade 2.0 features an article in support of Anastasijevic, as well as a link to a recent article he wrote on the Ahtisaari Plan. […]

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