PEN International: End impunity, protect writers and journalists in Serbia

Slavko Ćuruvija
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP

The Serbian authorities must urgently condemn and address threats to writers and journalists, PEN International and Serbian PEN said Monday, stressing that ending impunity for crimes against writers and journalists is of the utmost importance.

Reacting to the acquittals in the case of journalist Slavko Curuvija’s murder, PEN International said this decision sends a dangerous signal that attacks against writers and journalists in Serbia will go unpunished.

“PEN International condemns the acquittal of the former Serbian state security officers who were previously convicted for their role in the murder of Slavko Curuvija. The outrage felt in Serbia and beyond is a justified response to a verdict that sent out shockwaves amongst Serbian writers and journalists, who are working in an increasingly toxic and suffocating atmosphere, in which impunity remains the norm,” said Ma Thida, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

PEN International calls for all those responsible for the killing of Slavko Curuvija to be brought to justice.

“With independent voices in Serbia facing mounting risks, we once again urge the Serbian authorities to systematically, publicly, and unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and targeted attacks against writers and journalists, to ensure impartial, prompt, thorough, independent, and effective police investigations into all alleged crimes against writers, and to hold those responsible to account,“ said Ma Thida.