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          • Year: 2019
          • Case Study: Threats and Pressures Faced by Activists and Independent Journalists in Serbia

          • Threats and pressures on activists and independent journalists, experience with state authorities, protection measures and necessary help are the topics of the newest case study by BCSP.

        • The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and individual employees have in recent years been targeted by attacks and threats on several occasions.

           

          In this the BCSP is not alone, activists, non-governmental organisations and independent journalists in Serbia are continually exposed to threats and pressures and, not infrequently, physical attacks. This is borne out by research conducted in the summer of 2018 by the BCSP, in cooperation with its partners, in 19 municipalities across Serbia. The aim of that study was to determine the circumstances and constraints that affect participation by citizens, groups and organisations in the defence democracy and resolving publically significant issues through collective action at the local and national levels.

           

          One of the topics raised during the fieldwork - especially during individual interviews with active citizens - was the safety of activists and independent journalists,
          including the conduct of the security services towards them.

           

          In conversation with our researchers, a large number of the respondents highlighted the fact that they face security threats and/or pressures pertaining to their activism. Most of them did not receive the kind of protection from security institutions that they expected - i.e. the kind of protection they needed. Based on the above, the BCSP identified the need for more in depth research on this topic.

           

          In this case study, you can read about kinds of pressures that activists and independent journalists are facing in their local environments, what experiences they had with the police, Serbia’s Security Intelligence Agency (BIA) and other state authorities, how they protect themselves and what kind of support they need.

           

          This case study is the result of a joint effort by the Centre for Research Transparency and Accountability (CRTA), the National Coalition for Decentralization (NKD), the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and Partners for Democratic Change Serbia, which aims to foster greater citizen participation in decision-making through the Citizens Have Power (Građani imaju moć) project, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The views expressed in this case study are exclusively those of the author and the interviewees and do not reflect the views of USAID.

        • Tags: activism, state capture, Citizens in Power, local security, Isidora Stakić, Predrag Petrović
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