BH Journalists association condemns threats to Nezavisne novine editorial office

NEWS 17.12.2020 18:08
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Source: BH Novinari

The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association and the Free Media Help Line strongly condemned the death threats the employees of the ‘Nezavisne novine’ newspaper received on Thursday, urging authorities to find out who was behind the threats and sanction them as soon as possible.

The editorial office of Nezavisne Novine in the Bosnian city of Banja Luka received a phone call at about 2 pm from an unknown number which could not be identified, in which a person said that the office should close earlier that day or “everyone will be dead,” chief editor of the newspaper, Sandra Gojkovic Arbutina, told N1.

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The incident was immediately reported to police, she said.

“Aggressive threats with possible, serious consequences for the life and professional integrity of Nezavisne novine employees, represent a serious attack on freedom of expression and safety of journalists, which is why the RS MUP must immediately launch an investigation and establish the attacker’s identity, and take other legal actions to severely sanction threats,” BH Journalists said.

The BH Journalists Steering Committee also expressed concern over the “serious increase in violence against journalists in BiH,” noting that the Free Media Help Line registered “17 explicit threats, physical attacks and death threats” to journalists in 2020.

“None of these cases ended in punishing the attackers! Therefore, we emphasize once again that each of these cases is a serious crime, which requires an urgent response and decisive measures by the police, judicial and other institutions to punish the perpetrators. Only harsh sanctions and legal measures can stop threats like the one addressed to the Nezavisne editorial office and stop new violence against media professionals in BiH!” it said.

The association also said that it will “inform domestic and international organizations for the protection of freedom of expression and safety of journalists about threats to Nezavisne novine, and request their response.”