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IPI/SEEMO strongly condemns threat against journalist by Serbian Orthodox priest

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 7 May 2009 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate, strongly condemns the threat made by the Serbian Orthodox priest Vlastimir Zlatic against the Serbian journalist Zoran Marjanovic, correspondent for the newspapers "Kurir" and "Glas Javnosti", in the village of Silopaj, near Gornji Milanovac, Serbia.

According to information before SEEMO, on 3 May 2009, Marjanovic received a threat of violence in a telephone call by the Serbian Orthodox priest Zlatic, who said, translated into English, "You bastard, I will show you my gun and you will end up like Curuvija!" (Slavko Curuvija, a Serbian journalist and newspaper publisher, was brutally murdered in the centre of Belgrade on 11 April 1999. The perpetrators of the assassination remain unknown.) Marjanovic had published an article concerning Zlatic some days prior to the threat.

SEEMO's Secretary General Oliver Vujovic commented on the incident, "SEEMO strongly condemns the threat against Marjanovic, which, ironically occurred on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day. Because the Church plays an important role in moral development within society, SEEMO urges the Serbian Orthodox Church and its representatives to respect freedom of expression and opinion, and to ensure that journalists and others are not threatened for exercising their right of freedom of speech." Vujovic added, "At the same time, SEEMO would welcome a thorough police investigation into this disturbing incident."

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