Bosnia's media watchdog fines Republika Srpska entity TV for biased reporting

Source: N1

Bosnia's Communications Regulatory Agency (RAK) fined the Radio Television of Republika Srpska entity (RTRS) with 12,000 marks (some €6,000), for their report regarding the 1995 Tuzla massacre which left 71 dead and 200 wounded, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Foundation said on Friday.

Acting ex officio and on the complaint they received from the Foundation, the RAK issued a decision to fine the RTRS with 12,000 marks (€6,000) for their unethical report claiming that the victims of the Tuzla Kapija died as a result of a planted explosive device, and that general Novak Djukic was wrongfully convicted, without the possibility of stating his case,” the Foundation said.

On May 25, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces fired a shell on the Kapija neighbourhood in Tuzla, killing 71 and wounding more than 200.

Novak Djukic, a former Republika Srpska Army commander, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering the shelling but was released in 2014 after Bosnia’s Constitutional Court annulled the ruling due to procedural errors.

Bosnia’s State Court reduced his sentence later that year to 20 years, but his lawyer informed the court a few days later that his client is in Serbia.

In October that year, Bosnia issued an arrest warrant for Djukic as he did not show up to serve his sentence.

The youngest victim of the massacre was three-year-old Sandro Kalesic.

“The RAK found that the RTRS violated Article 3, paragraphs 1 and 4 – “fairness and impartiality” and Article 17, paragraph 4 – “protection of privacy” regulated by the Code on Audiovisual Media Services and Radio Media Services,” the Foundation noted.

This is the second time the RTRS was fined regarding their reporting on the Tuzla massacre.

(€1 = BAM1.955)