Journalists Chief Victims of Digital Rights Violations in Serbia

Out of a total of 481 registered cases of digital rights violations, 115 involved threats and endangering security. There were 95 cases of insults and unfounded accusations.

The report noted there had been more arrests of late of people accused of threatening online space, but few have been sentenced while those who were received relatively mild punishments.

It also noted the lack of adequate protection offered to victims, particularly journalists.

Leaks of personal info

One major case came in March 2017 when regional broadcaster N1 published a leaked database used by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, SNS, and containing the personal information of 400,000 Serbian citizens, including social status, health conditions and financial circumstances.

One such description read: "Voted for Democratic Party until now. Not anymore. Disabled person. Children - ages 20 and 22. Wife unemployed, works in a pub…"

SHARE classified the incident as one of the most severe breaches of personal data in Serbia.

Danilo Krivokapic and Andrej Petrovski. Photo: Media center

It also highlighted the leak of health records belonging to a Serbian woman, Marija Lukic, who had accused an SNS official of sexual harassment, and the case of opposition activist Dragan Murar, whose phone was seized during his arrest by police in 2017 and his Twitter and Gmail accounts accessed.

The common targets, however, were online media outlets. The report underlined that attacks aiming at disabling or disrupting access to content were "very often connected with certain social events", for example major flooding in 2014 when the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, expressed concern about media censorship and the...

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