11. jun 2024.

Statement by Jelena Ćuruvija, Honorary president of the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation: The truth about my father’s murder is too difficult for our political reality. It is easier to threaten me and forbid me to know the truth

My father has been gone for 25 years. It seems we are compelled to adopt such phrasing. To say “he is no longer here” as if he had simply vanished on his own, to avoid reiterating that he was murdered, executed, liquidated..., says Jelena Ćuruvija, daughter of the murdered journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, regarding the lawsuit by former State Security Service official Milan Radonjić against the foundation which she founded and of which she is the honorary president.

Jelena Ćuruvija (foto: Cenzolovka)

A quarter of a century was insufficient for the judiciary of this country to ascertain who decided my father “should not exist” and who carried out that decision. It is assumed, nonetheless, that this is ample time for us to forget how and why he is no longer here, or at least to lose the will to inquire. Perhaps society can be coerced into oblivion, but I, who bear the burden of the “curse” of being the daughter of a victim of political assassination, cannot and will not.

I cannot accept that the judicial truth, which asserts only that there is no truth to be known, should be my truth as well. I cannot cleanse my mind and heart of everything I have learned, heard, and seen over these long 25 years and pretend that I have not arrived at an “extrajudicial” truth. The same truth that the judiciary would have reached – in another country, in another time.

Such a truth is unspeakable for our courts. For our political reality, such a truth is unnecessary, even harmful. It is too burdensome. It is easier to forbid me from knowing the truth. To threaten me into forgetting it. Or at least to silence me. It is presumably expected that I allow my father to rest in peace in a manner that will not disturb his killers.

I knew that the murder of Slavko Ćuruvija was not solely my loss and that the truth about this murder, as well as the justice that should stem from that truth, was needed not just by me, but by the entire society. Knowing this, I initiated the establishment of the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, with the goal of contributing to the creation of a society where journalism would not be a deadly profession. Where the word would be free, and the judiciary independent. Where justice would reach the murderers.

Now, this Foundation is being sued and stifled. Why? It’s simple – because they can. They can demand the punishment of all of us who sought truth and justice. So that it never crosses our minds again.

So that nothing and no one keeps alive the memory of Slavko Ćuruvija, who is no longer here. Particularly not the reasons why he is gone and the manner in which he disappeared.

They turn tragedy into farce and still expect us to applaud them. Or at least to remain silent.

My question is: Gentlemen, in which act are we? – says Jelena Ćuruvija, daughter of the murdered journalist and honorary president of the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation.

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