Numerous media representatives gathered in Sarajevo, Mostar, Zenica and other Bosnian cities amid increasing attacks on journalists in the country. The main cause of Tuesday’s protest was the attack against BN TV’s journalist Vladimir Kovacevic.
Journalists gathered in front of Sarajevo’s National Theatre expressed their discontent over the attack against Kovacevic and other journalists and said that this gathering was their protest against all attacks and pressures on journalists and their profession.
They stressed that they want a clear, unbiased and professional investigation into the attack and those who ordered the attack.
Banjaluka based journalists also held a peaceful protest, on Monday, under the slogan “Stop the violence against journalists!.”
Kovacevic’s colleagues condemned the attack and demanded that perpetrators be brought to justice. They said that the fight for the freedom of speech has just begun.
The gathered journalists also requested that the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina be changed so that attacks on journalists would be treated as attacks against an officials performing their official duty.
This year alone saw more than 40 attacks against journalists in Bosnia.
The attack was condemned by numerous government officials, and Bosnia’s Human Rights Minister Semiha Borovac said, Monday, that attacks against journalists have become an everyday phenomenon.
She added that the only thing to do in cases like these is to sanction the perpetrators. Borovac also stressed that attacks against journalists should be treated by Bosnia’s Criminal Code as a special crime.
At exactly 11:59 a.m. N1 TV joined the protest by interrupting its broadcasting for one minute.
Bijeljina based BN TV’s reporter Vladimir Kovacevic was brutally attacked in front of his apartment building by two unknown individuals who beat him with expandable batons. After the attack, Kovacevic was admitted to hospital where the doctors determined he had serious injuries that needed immediate treatment.
The Serb-dominated, Republika Srpska entity Prosecutor’s Office said they are treating the case as attempted murder.