09 Jun 14
Serbia PM Accuses OSCE of Media Censorship ‘Lies’
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says OSCE claims that his government has been putting pressure on the media in Serbia are false and part of a campaign against him.
BIRNBelgrade Vucic said on Monday that pressure on the Serbian media to attack him was coming from some ambassadors in Belgrade and from abroad.
“They [the OSCE] are lying, and when you’re lying, it is elementary decency to apologize. I will not let anyone attack Serbia,” Vucic said.
“The OSCE has uttered falsehood and lies, and I’m telling the truth,” he added.
Vucic's accusations came after Paula Thiede, the deputy head of the OSCE Mission in Serbia, told B92 television on Sunday night that freedom of the media in Serbia is facing serious problems.
"We work within our mandate to strengthen media freedom and in this regard we work with the government of Serbia, as well as with non-governmental organizations and journalists' associations. The government has pledged to adopt three important pieces of legislation, and I expect that we will soon see an improvement in media freedom," Thiede said.
But Vucic said that Thiede was trying to silence him.
"They think I'll pray to God that they stop. You won't silence me and I will never shut up, because I'm telling the truth, and they are lying," he said.
The controversy about alleged censorship in the media started during the recent devastating floods when some Serbian websites criticising the government's handling the crisis were taken down by hacker attacks.
The OSCE declined to respond to the Serbian premier’s latest comments but referred BIRN to a statement last week by media freedom representative Dunja Mijatovic after she held a meeting with Vucic.