Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, expressed deep shock by the assault on BN Television’s (BNTV) reporter, Vladimir Kovacevic, assessing it as violent.
Mijatovic’s came as a new in series of reactions that followed the information on the physical attack on Kovacevic, which took place in the northwestern Bosnia’s city of Banja Luka on Sunday night when two still unidentified men beat the reporter in front of his building.
“I am profoundly shocked by the violent assault on Vladimir Kovacevic, a journalist working for BN TV in Banja Luka. This is the latest of several alarming attacks against journalists and media actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” warned Mijatovic, expressing the solidarity with Kovacevic and all other journalists under attack in the country.
Prior to the CoE’s commissioner, the accident was condemned by many associations of journalists in the country and the region as well as the foreign institutions in the country.
“I call on the authorities of Republika Srpska to identify and punish those responsible for the attack, and to step up their efforts to create a climate in which journalists can work freely and safely,” Mijatovic noted.
“Leading politicians need to stop using inflammatory remarks, including personal insults against journalists, which can lead to self-censorship of journalists and incite violence against them,” Mijatovic added.
Two more separate accidents with media actors as targets were recorded in the country over the recent period. They sparked fierce reactions among media associations who urged the authorities to find and adequately punish the perpetrators and to prevent such accidents from happening in the future.