From April:
Journalists in Novi Pazar seek protection

Belgrade media correspondents reporting from Novi Pazar say the town’s mayor is making slanderous remarks.

“According to mayor Ugljanin, we are to blame whenever we report on blasts that occur in the town, or give an account of Wahhabis disrupting concerts in town, or of an armed stand-off in and outside a mosque,” Novi Pazar correspondents said in a letter dispatched to Independent Journalists Association (NUNS) and Journalist Association of Serbia (UNS).

The letter explained that Ugljanin’s remarks indicated that “the journlalists were also guilty of reporting on murders and kidnappings, on informing the public when police discovered hidden training camps and arms caches.”

“We cannot turn a blind eye and remain silent on events that actually happen so as to embellish the image of Novi Pazar,” they added.

In an interview to a local TV station, Sulejman Ugljanin said that certain “unethical Belgrade media correspondents are held responsible for the fact foreign donors and investors avoid coming to Novi Pazar.”

“Reporters linked the Wahhabi training camp discovered in Sjenica municipality with Novi Pazar, creating direct disinformation,” Ugljanin said.

The reporters in question confirmed that they made such a connection, explaining that all suspects arrested in the case were Novi Pazar citizens.

“We will continue to provide timely and objective coverage on events in Novi Pazar, and seek support and understanding from fellow journalists, our viewers, readers, and all citizens,” the statement ends.