Bosnian web portal ‘Radiosarajevo’ said on Friday that a group of football hooligans entered their premises on Friday night and forced a journalist to retract an article about a football club ‘Sarajevo’ fan receiving a five-year prison term in Belarus for drug possession.
The portal said it had published a fact-checked article that said the fan was sentenced to five years in prison in Belarus after police found 0,16 grams of cocaine on him.
After the article was published, the journalists and editors “faced unprecedented death threats,” which also targeted their families.
“Exposed to such threats and in a hostage-like situation, the sports editor of our portal was forced to physically remove the text from the Radiosarajevo.ba system,” a statement from the portal said.
The journalist was then forced to call other news portals and newspapers and ask them to remove the article as well, Radiosarajevo said.
“Fearing for his security and his family, our colleague met the demands of the group of attackers, under duress,” it said.
“We call upon the Ministry of Interior of the Sarajevo Canton and other police agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina to professionally probe the case, so the perpetrators are found and processed, and for journalists and editors at Radiosarajevo to be adequately protected,” the web portal said.
It also called upon journalist associations in the country and other journalists to show solidarity regarding “an unprecedented attack on media freedom in our country.”