On Thursday, Dec. 3, Serbian television station B92 broadcast the first episode of “Insider,” a show which was about Belgrade’s hooligans – the fans of Partizan, Red Star and Rad football clubs.
In accordance with the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance, “Insider” got information about the names of leaders of the hooligans and many crimes which were committed by them, and reported that none of those leaders has not been sentenced in courts.
Soon after broadcasting, Brankica Stankovic, a journalist and author of “Insider”, has started to receive serious threats from fans of the mentioned football clubs on Facebook. It’s interesting that the messages have not been sent by anonymous people.
Below are some of them that web site “U poverenju” re-published:
1. Sister, you attacked the people and the game in which life is worth very little. We are not mafia, politicians and corrupted rich men! I am sorry for you, it will be painful.
2. Question for Brankica: Will you sacrifice your life for your idea? We will. That is our strength. You will never defeat us.
3. All of you from B92 are the regime’s bitches and hirelings. B92 should be shut down as soon as possible.
4. She should be slaughtered and delivered to the people from B92 to eat her. Dead bitch!
5. Bitch, will not live long!.. stay away from football fans
Serbian bloggers reacted to the threats.
In his blog, Jaksa Scekic cited some of the messages which had been sent publicly by numerous citizens in the previous days and wrote:
Brankica Stankovic is endangered, “Insider” is endangered, B92 is endangered, the profession of a journalist is endangered, the state is endangered.
Shall we succumb?
It should show them that journalists, citizens, government are not afraid of them.
It is time for the journalists’ guild to do something. Statements are not enough anymore. They are the dead letter and they can calm someone’s conscience only.
We have to show that we are more powerful than they are.
Blogger Srdan Fuchs analyzed the causes of the threats and the violence by hooligans in general. He wrote this:
[…] However, the traces of violence point out another thing. They point out that, as a main motive [of the hooligans] for the violence, there is social desperation, life without any goal, the eking out at the “bottom” without any idea of how things could be changed. […]
In the post titled “Crystal night starts”, blogger Strongman pointed out a serious problem in society. He wrote:
Neither the police, nor the prosecutor’s office, nor the Judiciary can solve the problems with violence and a criminalized society. All of us are responsible for and deserving of everything that is happening to us. We are now facing an “either, or” situation. Either them, or us. […]
According to the B92’s source from Dec. 6, president of the Republic of Serbia said that the state will not tolerate violence by hooligans and criminals who threaten journalists doing their jobs.
Tadić said that the state has taken measures of protection, adding that the state institutions will react in accordance with the law and arrest and prosecute all those endangering the lives of others.
As of now, nine young people have been arrested. They are between ages 18 and 26.