Belgrade, December 18, 2010.
On the evening of December 16, 2010 journalist Branko
Zivkovic was assaulted while walking his dog. An unidentified person
brutally attacked him from the back and hurt him in his head. On the
following day Mr. Zivkovic went to the Emergency Center where he was
given anti-tetanus protection and advised to rest for a week. Hit in his
head, Zivkovic now suffers from amnesia and cannot recall what happened
before or immediately after the incident.
This is the second time that Zivkovic was assaulted. A
month ago he was attacked both verbally and physically. The incident was
reported to the police, which tracked down and arrested the assaulter,
and forwarded the case to the public prosecutor office. Threats and
insults to which Mr. Zivkovic has been exposed for some time indicate
that someone is rather bothered by his reports on delicate social issues
such as Sandzak.
Constant harassment of Branko Zivkovic and assaults
against him are nothing but a pressure on the freedom of expression, a
phenomenon more and more frequent in Serbia. The space for free
expression is anyway being reduced given that the media are closed to
serious dialogues on crucial social issues. As Mr. Zivkovic works
on-line assaults at him indicate he is under someone's constant control