Amid the latest tensions in the north of Kosovo, one of the most discussed topics since Friday’s events has been the numerous attacks on journalists. The Kosovo Journalists Association issues daily statements regarding attacks on media. As of yesterday, according to these statistics, there were 18 such cases; all involving journalists reporting in Albanian. The association reported new attacks today. The topic also caught the eye of the international public and was even included in Prime Minister Kurti’s address.
Beginning yesterday evening, the owner of a local cafe in Zvecan has been the target of attacks on social media after Albanian journalists publicly thanked him for his hospitality while they were reporting about the crisis on Monday.
The café owner – M.P. has been labeled a „traitor“ in some groups on social networks because he allegedly „gave a key to the cafe to the Albanian journalists on Monday, who were reporting from the protest, to lock themselves inside, and they filmed Serbs from his cafe, and he left the cafe and watched as his people defended themselves“.
In these groups, claims were also made that he then escorted a group of Albanian journalists to their cars in Zvecan.
Today, a group of approximately 45 Serbian journalists from Kosovo, including four journalists of the KoSSev portal, expressed public support for the owner of this cafe – M.P. Some of them took a picture near his cafe today.
Kosovo Serb journalists say that this café was used by international, Serbian, and international news outlets as a base to report from.
In a statement to the media, the owner denied allegations that he gave a key to the Albanian journalists. He said that he treated everyone the same and that he does not understand why he was suddenly labeled a „traitor“ on social networks.
But that is not all. When the riots started on Monday, this is where, apart from the Wi-Fi network, the journalists also found shelter from tear gas, stun grenades and violence.
Serbian journalists believe that his gesture that day was solely professional, and he treated everyone as café customers.
At the same time, they called on the administrators of various social media pages to avoid endangering the safety of this young man. They also asked them to publish Serbian journalists’ reactions to allegations made against him.
Below we are publishing reaction of Serbian journalists who report from the north in its entirety:
A group of journalists from Serbian-language newsrooms reporting from Zvecan in recent days condemn the attacks on Mladen Perovic, the owner of the „Golden Sky“ cafe, coming from social networks which have labelled this young man as a traitor.
Perovic’s photo was published on various pages, along with the claim that he gave the key to the cafe to Albanian journalists reporting from the protest to lock themselves inside, while he crossed the bridge and watched from there as the people defended themselves while, as they point out, the „Shiptar journalists“ filmed Serbs from inside the café. Furthermore, they claim that the owner of the café escorted the same journalists to their cars.
However, on the day of the conflict, the guests of the café were, for the most part, journalists reporting in the Serbian language, along with numerous citizens of Zvecan, and later Albanian colleagues. It is false that Perovic provided refuge only to Albanian journalists. This café was open to all guests, including journalists.
Truth be told, after their colleagues from the Serbian newsrooms left the cafe, some Albanian media announced that they were „stuck“ there because of the situation. A number Serbian journalists informed them that they could leave freely and that the passage was open, which some of them did. Most of them stayed in the café, and only left later as a group. The café owner, as they themselves confirmed, only gave them directions.
However, after these posts on social networks, Mladen Perovic informed the journalists today that he feels threatened and that he fears for his personal, and safety of his café.
Journalists from numerous newsrooms in the Serbian language supported Perovic because they believe that his gesture was exclusively professional and civil, that is, that he treated everyone as café customers. At the same time, they call on the administrators of various pages not to endanger the safety of this young man in this way and ask them to publish our reaction as well.
We invite everyone to enable the unhindered work of journalists.
Živojin Rakočević, the president of Journalists’ Association of Serbia
Budimir Ničić, Medija centar Čaglavica
Sanja Đokić, Medija centar Čaglavica
Jovica Karadžić, Medija centar Čaglavica
Nebojša Đokić, Medija centar Čaglavica
Zorica Vorgučić, Radio Kim
Živorad Arsić, Radio Kim
Bojan Ćirkoivć, Radio Kim
Goran Avramović, Radio Kim
Andrija Igić, RTS
Vladimir Milić, RTS
Katarina Marinković, Medija centar Čaglavica
Milena Maksimović, TV Prva
Ana Markovic, TV Prva
Anđelka Ćup, Euronews Srbija
Vladislav Ćup, Euronews Srbija
Nikola Milosavljević, TV Prva
Maja Fićović, Radio Kosovska Mitrovica
Ivana Vanovac, Radio Kosovska Mitrovica
Daniela Tomašević, Radio Kontakt plus
Ana Marija Ivković, Radio Kontakt plus
Mirjana Milutinović, Radio Kontakt plus
Ivan Mitić, KoSSev
Nevenka Medić, KoSSev
Tatjana Lazarević, KoSSev
Dragana Vukosavljević, KoSSev
Sanja Sovrlić, journalist
Dragana Zečević, Večernje novosti
Ivica Simić, Kosovo online
Ivan Radulović, Kosovo onlajn
Teodora Bojić, TV Kiss
Bane Nedeljković, Kosovo onlajn
Marija Trajković, Kosovo onlajn
Anel Grbović, Informer
Biljana Radomirović, Politika
Ivan Miljković, Radio Beograd
Zoran Kosanović, Al Džazira
Vanja Keser, Al Džazira
Darko Mirković, Kurir
Mladen Miletić, Kurir
Tanja Slavić, RTK2
Miloš Stanojković, RTK2
Dragana Cvetković, journalist
Zoran Šaponjić, RT Balkan
Miodrag Draškić, cameraman
Sanja Kecman, Jedinstvo
Rada Komazec, Jedinstvo
Near this cafe, the editor of the Kim radio news program, Zorica Vorgucic, as well as journalist Budimir Nicic, spoke to the media about the case, condemning the labeling of the owner of the café in Zvecan.
Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.