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Serbian Investigative Reporter Barred From Entering U.A.E.

Investigative journalist Stevan Dojcinovic speaking at a press conference in June 2018.
Investigative journalist Stevan Dojcinovic speaking at a press conference in June 2018.

BELGRADE -- A Serbian anti-corruption investigative reporter has been banned from entering the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), where he was planning to attend a UN conference on organized crime and corruption.

Stevan Dojcinovic, the editor of the Crime and Corruption Investigations Network (KRIK), returned to Serbia on the morning of December 18 after U.A.E. authorities prevented him from entering the Persian Gulf country.

Dojcinovic told RFERL he had "no information" as to why he was deported after being held for 12 hours at the airport police station.

"They took my fingerprints. I tried to talk to them. They told me they were not guilty, that I was blacklisted and couldn't get into the U.A.E., and that they would send me back by plane," he said.

"Later, they told me that the U.A.E. had not blacklisted me, but some other country, some other government. They said, 'It's something international,' but they didn't want to reveal more details to me."

When he landed in Serbia, he added, police officers handed him his passport and told him that "they didn't know what was going on."

Dojcinovic was scheduled to speak at a conference organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Abu Dhabi, according to KRIK, a website that investigates corruption.

It added that the U.A.E. was not the first country to bar entry to the journalist.

In 2015, Russian authorities stopped the journalist on arrival at a Moscow airport and sent him back, along with a five-year entry ban, all without any explanation, it said.

KRIK is part of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which groups 45 nonprofit investigative centers and commercial independent media from across the world.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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