Female Kosovo Journalist Targeted by ‘Evil’ Online Threats

"The threats to Zana Cimili, as to other N1 journalists, are not only threats to the individual reporters but also to freedom of speech and of the media as fundamental democratic rights," said the channel, which has reporters in countries across the former Yugoslavia.

A day later, Serbian police arrested a man from the northern town of Becej on suspicion of threatening Cimili. A court then placed the suspect under house arrest.

"The arrest of the man who threatened me and my daughter sends an important message - that you cannot assume to hide behind the guise of social media when threatening journalists," Cimili said in an interview with BIRN conducted via email.

The shock for Cimili was heightened by the intensity of the hatred directed at Albanians, and the fact that the perpetrator posted the message under a picture of her three-year-old daughter - "posting it under a photograph of her playing in the sand - saying they would 'rip up Albanian children with their teeth'".

In its latest report, US-based democracy watchdog Freedom House characterised Serbia's media environment as 'partially free', citing an "environment of intimidation and harassment that inhibits journalists' day-to-day work".

Statistics gathered by the SHARE Foundation, a Serbian-based non-governmental organisation dealing with digital rights, support Freedom House's findings.

In 2018, SHARE registered four cases of online threats against female journalists, and another four in the first five months of this year.

"While I regret any situation where more attention is placed on the journalist rather than on their work, since I think our reporting should always get the most attention, I hope there will be some long-term positive outcomes to this," Cimili...

Continue reading on: