Serbia is a Central European country which mostly practices Orthodox Christianity. It was formerly part of Yugoslavia.

General censorship[]

Censorship in Serbia is prohibited by the Constitution. Freedom of expression and of information are protected by international and national law, even if the guarantees enshrined in the laws are not coherently implemented. Instances of censorship and self-censorship are still reported in the country. Serbia is deemed "partly free" by Freedom House and ranks 93rd out of 180 countries in the 2020 Press Freedom Index report compiled by Reporters Without Borders, declining its ranking by three if compared to 2019, fourteen if compared to 2018 and 24 places if compared to 2017. In 2018, International Research & Exchanges Board described the situation in the media in Serbia as the worst in recent history, and that Media Sustainability Index dropped because the most polarized media in almost 20 years, an increase in fake news and editorial pressure on media. Within the framework of negotiations with the European Union, the EU has requested that Serbia improve and guarantee freedom of expression and of the press. According to Christian Mihr of Reporters Without Borders, "as a candidate country [Serbia] must seriously understand the importance of the independence of journalists and the need for freedom of the media."

Book censorship[]

Internet censorship[]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet, e-mail, or Internet chat rooms. There are isolated reports that the government monitors e-mail. Individuals and groups are able to engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence. While the law requires the Ministry of Interior to obtain a court order before monitoring potential criminal activity and police to obtain a warrant before entering property except to save persons or possessions, police occasionally fail to respect these laws. Most observers believe authorities selectively monitor communications, eavesdrop on conversations, and read mail and e-mail. Human rights leaders also believe that authorities monitor their communications. The 2010 Law on Electronic Communications obliges telecommunications operators to retain for one year data on the source and destination of a communication; the beginning, duration, and end of a communication; the type of communication; terminal equipment identification; and the location of the customer's mobile terminal equipment. While these data can be accessed by intelligence agencies without court permission, a court order is required to access the contents of these communications. In 2013 the Constitutional Court of Serbia ruled that a court approval is necessary also for data collection. In early 2014 the SNS tried to stop the spread of a satirical video about Aleksandar Vučić saving a young boy from a line of cars stuck in a snowstorm near Feketić, in Vojvodina. When the attempt at censoring the video proved unsuccessful, Vučić himself endorsed it on his Facebook profile, presenting the gesture as extraordinary. After the May 2014 floodings, the government established a state of emergency allowing it to detain citizens for "inciting panic". Online websites that were critical of the official response to the crisis were deleted or temporarily blocked. The OSCE Media Freedom declared its concern about censorship in the case and demanded that authorities "stop interfering with the work of online media outlets". Vucic denied all claims of censorship and intimidation and called OSCE official liars, then apologized to the organization and said the government would investigate. Since Serbian Progressive Party came to power, Serbia has seen a surge of internet trolls and pages on social networks praising the government and attacking its critics, free media and the opposition in general. That includes a handful of dedicated employees run fake accounts, but also the Facebook page associated with a Serbian franchise of the far-right Breitbart News website.

Film censorship[]

Television censorship[]

Video game censorship[]

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