OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir on Monday condemned the death threats against the authors of two talks shows on the Nova S TV channel.
Serbian singer Aca Lukas threatened to kill talk show authors and hosts Zoran Kesic and Ivan Ivanovic if anything happened to his mother during the coronavirus pandemic claiming that both of them called the elderly population to oppose the ban on movement imposed by the authorities on people over the age of 65. The threats were reported by the pro-government tabloid Srpski Telegraf. Kesic and Ivanovic are critical of the authorities in their 24 Minutes and An Evening with Ivan Ivanovic talk shows.
“I condemn the death threats to journalists Ivan Ivanovic and Zoran Kesic,” Desir tweeted, calling for an investigation and protection against such “unacceptable intimidation”.
I condemn the death threats to@novarsonlinejournalists Ivan Ivanović@veceivan& Zoran Kesić in#Serbia. It is concerning that such threats were published on a national media outlet. I call for an investigation & protection of journalists against such unacceptable intimidation.— OSCE media freedom (@OSCE_RFoM)April 20, 2020
Lukas responded on his Instagram account, claiming that his threats were “figures of speech” and sees no reason for the authorities to react. “You can be sure that we’ll see each other in court many times. You and your anchors, and your guests, should be ashamed,” he wrote.
Kesic and Ivanovic rejected his claims and announced law suits.