Following the attack on BN TV’s journalist Vladimir Kovacevic in Banjaluka, the Republika Srpska entity government, RS Parliament Speaker and Bosnia’s Head of Council of Ministers condemned the attack, calling it an attack on democracy.
The government of this Serb-dominated, semi-autonomous entity condemned the assault on BN TV’s Vladimir Kovacevic, saying that freedom of the press is one of the key pillars of democracy and democratic societies.
“Therefore we consider the Sunday attack and threat to the journalist’s personal safety an attack on the freedom of thought and belief as well as freedom of expression of opinion which are guaranteed by the Constitution of the RS. We expect the competent institutions to solve this case as soon as possible,” the RS Government said.
RS National Assembly Speaker Nedeljko Cubrilovic strongly condemned the assault on the said journalist and requested that police and the prosecution find the perpetrators.
Bosnia’s Council of Ministers Chairman Denis Zvizdic also reacted saying that insults, disrespect, and especially assaults on journalists who are only doing their job, are absolutely unacceptable in democratic societies.
“If the assailants against the journalist are not sanctioned, this will be an unacceptable precedent and an instruction to the future type of behaviour against the press. The Chairman’s Office fully supports professional journalism,” Zvizdic said.
In a phone call with BN TV’s director Vladimir Trisic, Kovacevic said that the two men ambushed him in front of the residential building where he lives.
“I walked by them, not expecting anything to happen. Suddenly, they attacked me,” Kovacevic said. “I tried to defend my self while they hit me with batons over the head and body. I cried for help but they kept hitting me. Then they entered a car and drove off.”
As a sign of protest against the assault on their journalist, BN TV began their Monday program with a black screen and a message saying “A public protest against the attack on BN TV’s journalist. We demand that the RS Interior Ministry finds the assailants.”