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Limitation on freedom of information imposed by mayor in Serbian city of Zajecar

The mayor of the Serbian city of Zajecar, Bosko Nicic has decided to prevent all directors of companies and public institutions in the city from making statements to the media without his prior consent, according to the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO). Directors of companies and public institutions now feel that they must fear for their jobs if they do not comply with the directive, and journalists are limited in their reporting on current affairs.

The directive of August 9 is a restriction on freedom of information and free expression. It contradicts Serbia's Law on Public Information, which notes that no one is allowed directly or indirectly - to limit or abuse the free flow of information. "Putting the media under pressure will only encourage censorship," said SEEMO Secretary-General Oliver Vujovic.

He added: "Journalists should be able to express themselves freely and to carry out their jobs without any interference by the local authorities. An open media environment allowing for the free flow of information is a fundamental principle of any democratic society. It is vital for journalists and media executives to be able to report freely on current affairs. "Serbia showed some positive media developments recently, so the limitation of the free flow of information by the mayor of Zajecar is alarming."

Finally, SEEMO has voiced support for the Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS) in the statements they have issued in connection with this case.

Date posted: August 12, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 394