Expression

Although constitutionally and legally protected, in practice respect for freedom of expression in Serbia declined in recent years. Journalists work in a hostile environment and suffer physical attacks, harassment and threats, problems which have led to an increase in self-censorship. Furthermore, journalists and media outlets are often the subject of smear campaigns by authorities. In November 2016 for example, a pro-government outlet accused some investigative media organisations of being financed by Western countries in order to destabilise the country. Privately-owned media outlets are typically aligned with one political party or another. Defamation has been decriminalised, but insult remains a punishable offence. Serbia enacted the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance in 2004, but proper implementation is still lacking.