BRUSSELS – The S&D Group expresses its deep concern regarding the climate of fear in which the campaign for early parliamentary elections in Serbia is taking place. The violent incidents against opposition which have been occurring throughout local elections and other campaign events in the last few years, which were also mentioned in the last European Parliament Progress Report on Serbia, have not been addressed. This has led to a climate of fear during the campaign in which there have been attacks against representatives of opposition parties.
Knut Fleckenstein, vice-president of S&D Group, said:
“The S&D Group condemns the political violence and intimidation in Serbia before the elections and calls on the Serbian authorities to do whatever is necessary to reassure all political parties and international public that the forthcoming elections would take place in a tolerant and democratic environment. All threats, harassment and violence against opposition, journalists and independent institutions must be investigated.
We call on the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission to monitor the situation closely and report promptly of any violations.”
Tanja Fajon, S&D Group shadow rapporteur on Serbia, said:
“The S&D Group is concerned about serious allegations of media censorship and intimidation of journalists in Serbia, which have been confirmed by international journalists associations. We invite the Serbian authorities to finally acknowledge the problems regarding freedom of the press and to enable the media to work freely and without fear of reprisals.”