On February 21, a Serbian newspaper censored part of an obituary of a graphic artist, which noted that one of his last works was a book about censorship.
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) strongly condemned the censorship of the in memoriam article in the daily Politika, about its recently deceased art director Darko Novaković (1949 – 2018).
Politika removed a segment of the obituary which noted that “one of the last books he designed was entitled ‘Vučić and Censorship,’ and Darko was brave enough to sign his name and surname under his work.”
The obituary, as well as the unmentionable book about the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, were written by Srđan Škoro, a friend of Novaković. In response to the censorship incident Srđan Škoro said:
„Nemam reči, zaista. Kad vlast ozakoni cenzuru, koja je zakonom zabarnjena, onda doživite da se cenzuriše i naslov jedne knjige iz oproštaja od kolege.“
I am lost for words, really. When a government legitimizes censorship, which is in fact forbidden by law, then one can experience censoring of a book title from an article with last farewell from a colleague.
Novaković's son published the full obituary on his website and posted the link and the photo of his father on Twitter.
— in mourning (@Singalongest) February 19, 2018
In their reaction, the Independent Journalists’ Assocation said they were shocked, even though in recent years they have “almost gotten used to examples of quiet censorship and galloping self-censorship… Such political ‘editing’ of obituaries is unheard of even by our most senior members.”
A social media user who shared the link to the announcement compared the current situation in Serbia, under the Serbian Progressive Party, with repression that took place when it was ruled by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, led by Josip Broz Tito.
Naprednjaci su i čitulje počeli da cenzurišu. Ovoga nije bilo ni kod Broza.https://t.co/IqabSTZUON
— Srdjan Milivojevic (@srdjanmil037) February 21, 2018
The Progressives had begun to censor even the obituaries. Such a thing has not happened even during Broz's regime.
NUNS osuđuje cenzurisanje In memoriam-a u Politici https://t.co/5z8nFooT58
EU&ostali slobodni svet: “I, šta se dešava u Srbiji?”
Srbija: “Cenzura nekrologa”
Srbija: “Ništa još niste videli”
— gordana comic (@gordanacom) February 21, 2018
NUNS condemns censorship of an in memoriam article in Politika.
EU & the rest of the free world: “So, what's new in Serbia?”
Serbia: “Censoring obituaries.”
Serbia: “You ain't seen nothing yet.”