Stefan Cvetkovic, TNT, Bela Crkva
On August 9, Cvetkovic, editor in chief of the independent radiotelevision station TNT in the city of Bela Crkva, about 100 km (62 miles) east of the capital, Belgrade, received two anonymous phone calls from an unidentified number. A male voice threatened to kill him and uttered profanities at him, the independent Belgrade-based broadcaster B92 reported. Cvetkovic believes the threats are in response to his station’s critical coverage of local authorities.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is concerned about threats made against Vukasin Obradovic, the owner and editor-in-chief of the Vranje-based weekly Novine Vranjske, and Goran Antic, a reporter with the publication, in retaliation for reporting allegations of sexual abuse made against Serbian Orthodox Bishop Pahomije. The bishop's secular name is Tomislav Gacic.
In early January, Novine Vranjske began publishing a series of articles about five boys from the southern Serbian city of Vranje who have accused Bishop Pahomije of sexual abuse over a period of several years and are pressing criminal charges against him. Bishop Pahomije is the leader of the local Serbian Orthodox Diocese in Vranje.
The revolutionary political changes of late 2000 and early 2001 that ousted former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic ended a decade of repression for Yugoslavia's independent journalists. But after a year in power, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), which replaced Milosevic, failed to enact needed reforms in media-related laws. And while the DOS proved far less heavy-handed than Milosevic, its leaders have not hesitated to apply more subtle pressures on independent media that do not embrace DOS policies.