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    Reaction of the Press Council in BiH

    Number: 271-02/18
    Date: July 27, 2018

    The Board of Directors of the Press Council in BiH, the self-regulatory body for the press and online media, sharply reacts to the telephone threats and attempts of intimidating the journalists of the portal klix.ba, following yesterday’s physical attacks on the photo reporter of klix and the journalist of Al Jazeera Balkans, which occurred during coverage of the demobilized soldiers' protests in Sarajevo.

    The claim that yesterday's attack did not occur accidentally, due to the commotion and the ”ignited” atmosphere, is proven by today's audio footage of additional verbal threats aiming to intimidate all journalists, issued through a phone call to the newsroom of the klix portal, made by one of the protesters, who issued threats, accompanied by the utmost profanity. Furthermore, there is the video recording of the former female soldiers, who attacked the photo reporter with a metal rod, injuring him physically, threatening his life, and who afterwards bragged about here act and continued to profanely threaten the remaining journalists in attendance.        

    The brutal and intended physical attack with the intent of injuring the journalist and photo reporter, thus preventing them from doing their job of informing the public about the protests, and further threats and intimidation of journalists are acts deserving of every conviction and criminal prosecution. The fact that the perpetrators are demobilized soldiers does not justify them, and their status does not free them from criminal liability.

    It is the journalists’ right and professional duty to report for the public, in the public interest, and no one shall by no means, especially not by physical attacks and threats, intimidate and prevent them and the media from doing so. Such acts must be criminally prosecuted.

    In view of this, the Board of Directors of the Press Council insists that the persons, who brought physical harm and issued threats to the journalists, be arrested and prosecuted.

    The Press Council, protecting the democratic right of journalists to free coverage in the public interest, appeals to the Ministry of the Interior of the Sarajevo Canton, the Prosecution and all other competent authorities, to urgently react and protect the media and the journalists from such attacks and threats aimed to prevent them from freely exercising their professional duties. We remind that this is not the first time that such attacks against journalists are taking place, instead they are becoming more frequent and thus very concerning.

    Board of Directors of the Press Council in BiH

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