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    Reaction of the Press Council in BiH

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

    The Board of Directors of the Press Council in BiH, the self-regulatory body for the press and online media, harshly reacts to the telephone threats and attempts at intimidating the journalist of the portal klix, after yesterday’s physical attacks against the photo reporter of klix and journalist of Al Jazeera Balkans, which took place during coverage of the veterans’ protest in Sarajevo.

    Yesterday’s attack did not occur accidentally, amidst the commotion and generally “heated” atmosphere at the protests, but intentionally with intent of physically disabling the journalist from covering the event, and this is proven by today’s audio footage of additional verbal threats with the goal of intimidating all jouranlists, which were issued to the newsroom of the portal klix by phone from one of the protesters, who openly issued threats, followed by the worst profanity. To this extent, there is also video footage of the ex-military woman who attacked the photo reporter with a metal rod, and physically injured him, threatening his life, and who bragged about her deed later while threatening and swearing at the other journalists present.

    This brutal and intently physical attack with the goal of injuring the journalist and photo reporter and disabling them from performing their job of informing the public about the protest, as well as additional threats and intimidations against jouranlists, are acts worthy of every condemnation and criminal prosecution. The fact that they are veterans does not justify them, as their status does not provide them amnesty from criminal liability!

    It is a journalist’s right and professional duty to inform the public, in the public interest, and no one is allowed by any means, especially physical attacks and threats, to prevent and blackmail journalists and the media from doing so. Such acts merit criminal prosecution.  

    Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Press Council in BiH insists that the perpetrators who brought about the physical injuries and issued the threats be arrested and punished.

    The Press Council in BiH, whilst protecting the democratic rights of journalists to report in the public interest, appeals that the Ministry of the Interior of the Sarajevo Canton, the Prosecution and all other responsible institutions urgently react and protect the media and journalists from such attacks and threats to freely conducting their professional duty. We remind that this is not the first instance of such attacks against journalists taking place, but they are becoming regular and thus very concerning.

    Board of Directors of the Press Council in BiH

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