Serbia’s environmentalists: ‘Galens’ trying to intimidate us with SLAPP lawsuits

Environmental organisations that advocate the protection of the Fruska Gora National Park accused the owners of the company Galens Invest, of trying to intimidate them by filing five so-called SLAPP lawsuits worth around two million dinars (some 17,000 euros).

Fruska Gora is a mountain in northern Serbia.

In a joint statement, ‘Let’s Defend the Forests of Fruska Gora’, and ‘Fruskac,’ said those strategic lawsuits against public activists served to pressure the activists,“ but also to discourage other citizens and associations and cover up irregularities in the protected area of Fruska Gora National Park.“

„After buying tens of hectares of land on the Chestnut stretch and receiving a forest from the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) within the National Park, they illegally fenced the area and thus blocked three public roads on Fruska Gora, which have always been available to residents and visitors to the National Park,“ the statement added.

It said that by law, property owners in national parks were obliged to allow access to citizens and that fencing of property is not allowed, while ‘Galen’s owners also cleared part of the forest within the National Park to build a concrete road, for which the construction inspection determined that it was done illegally. “

Environmental organisations also said that according to their reports against the owner of ‘Galens,’ several misdemeanour proceedings were being conducted in Novi Sad’s Basic Court and that they would not give up the fight for Fruska Gora.

Last December, the Vojvodina Research and Analytical Centre VOICE wrote that Sanja Petric from Novi Sad, the wife of businessman Nebojsa Petric, director at his company’ Promist,’ and one of real owners of the ‘Galens Invest’ company, had bought 205 lots on Fruska Gora and its slopes for herself.

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