Several pro-government media in Serbia have yesterday launched another vicious smear campaign against KRIK.
Tabloids and television Pink are accusing KRIK of being aligned with Veljko Belivuk, recently arrested leader of a criminal group, currently under investigation for several monstrous murders. He and his hooligan group are well known to Serbian public, since they have been the main topic in all domestic media for the past several weeks, from the day they were arrested.
Media headlines are now saying that KRIK is “tied to Belivuk”, that we are “Belivuk’s private media” and that we have been “working with criminals and their associates to endanger President Vucic and his family”. You can imagine how these obnoxious lies are directly affecting our safety as we are not sure what to expect – from physical attacks to even arrests.
This campaign is ongoing – it is being broadcasted constantly on the most popular television station in Serbia, TV Pink, and even some members of the ruling SNS party have joined in. First one was Vladimir Orlic, one of the party’s chief officials, who is publicly smearing us on his Twitter profile and others politicians are following his example.
We must point out the abnormality and irony of this situation – KRIK was among the few investigative Serbian media which have been reporting about crimes of Belivuk and his associates during the previous years. This hooligan group was “forbidden” topic in the pro-government media just until recently because of the strong ties connecting members of this group with Serbian police and government representatives – ties that were discovered and reported by KRIK. We were the only ones who wrote many investigative stories, explaining and documenting different ways of how the state was protecting members of that group and cooperating with them.
Just a few days ago we published another exclusive interview, discovering how one part of this group was working under control of Novak Nedic, Secretary General of the Serbian Government and close associate of Aleksandar Vucic.
This week’s developments therefore can be seen as revenge and retribution for our discoveries.