BH Journalists Association condemns official's threats against Zurnal journalist

NEWS 08.01.2021 12:00
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Source: BH Novinari

The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association and the Free Media Help Line strongly condemned the behaviour of senior expert associate of the Sector for Refugees and Displaced Persons at the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, Adnan Cakalovic, who allegedly threatened Zinaida Djelilovic, a journalist of the online magazine Zurnal, in a phone conversation.

According to the association, the threats came when Djelilovic called Cakalovic for a comment on a story she was working on.

“If you are here (in Sarajevo), I will find you. Trust me, you will be mine,” he reportedly responded.

After she informed him that the conversation was being recorded and that a report would be filed to the police against him, Cakalovc allegedly replied: “Go ahead, screw you and the police!”

“The Steering Committee of BH Journalists and the Free Media Help Line are asking the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of the Interior to urgently investigate these threats and take all necessary actions to prevent a possible threat to the safety of journalist Djelilovic and other journalists of Zurnal. Such threats constitute an inadmissible attack on the freedom of work of journalists and the media and must be severely and timely sanctioned,” BH Journalists said.

“Also, we demand from the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH to immediately initiate disciplinary proceedings against its employee Adnan Cakalovic for the stated threats to the journalist and to impose measures on him in accordance with the law and the rules of procedure of that institution. Threats to journalists with physical violence are a serious crime and when such threats come from officials performing functions in state institutions, then it has special weight because in that way the public message is sent that attackers on journalists can go unpunished,” it said.

The association called Cakalovic’s behaviour “primitive and arrogant,” arguing that it “directly damages the reputation of the institution whose task is to fight equally for the human rights of all BiH citizens, including journalists, who must be allowed to do their job freely and in a safe environment.”
“ Therefore, we expect the representatives of the Ministry to do everything in their power to prevent such actions in the future and to make it clear to all civil servants that such behaviour towards journalists is unacceptable in a democratic society,” it said.

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