BELGRADE – A dozen journalists from several media have left out of protest regional media conference in Belgrade, during the speech of the Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic.

Journalists from the Center for Journalism in Serbia (CINS), KRIK, BIRN, Center for Investigative Reporting from Montenegro and Maglocistac from Subotica and some other colleagues left the event.

Director of CINS Branko Cecen said that he decided to take this step because Vucic missed the opportunity to begin a real dialogue with the media and journalists while, as he said, his associates treated journalistic profession even worse.

“For me personally it would be humiliating to sit at this conference and talk about the freedom of media with the man who demonstrated that he does not care a bit about the freedom of the media. I care even less to listen him talk about the quality of media and journalist work in this country. He is neither competent for it, neither he has the right, after everything he did in this regard, to talk about it,” said Cecen.

After Vucic’s speech, secretary general of the SEEMO organization Oliver Vujovic said that Vucic will answer only the question from foreign journalists.

President of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina (NDNV) Nedim Sejdinovic canceled the participation at the regional media conference in Belgrade, and said that he is doing so because it was announced that the Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic will open it, whom he described as “verified enemy of media freedom”.

“Media conference opened by Aleksandar Vucic, verified enemy of media freedom, to me is not only irrelevant, but I consider it as a slap to all the journalists who are victims of the political violence of the government he personified,” said Sejdinovic in an open letter addressed to the secretary general of SEEMO Oliver Vujovic.