On 13 August, two individuals broke into the house of Jeton Ismaili, the editor of Albanian language newspaper FOLonline, in Serbia.

The incident took place at around 2 pm when Ismali was at work. Finding his wife and three young children there, they threatened to kill them and Ismaili. After they left, the police were called and a medical team attended to provide support to Ismaili’s wife who was in serious shock.

The suspected motive for the threats was an article about the suspected COVID-19 death of two elderly brothers who were both neighbours and known to the family. Ismaili said that neither had been named in the article but those that broke into the home may have been distantly related. The exact motive is still unclear.

Local media has reported that a 76-year-old and a 38-year-old have been identified. It is alleged they are father and son who live in the Municipality of Bujanovac but neither has been arrested.

FOLonline called on the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs to provide protection to him and his family because of the seriousness of the threats. Zeljko Bodrozic, the President of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia also condemned the threats and called for action from authorities.

The incident was reported by Mapping Media Freedom, a portal set up to register threats against journalists, media workers, and media freedom in Europe.