May 13, 2015 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Attack on journalist’s car seen as act of intimidation

Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns last night’s attack on journalist Zorica Bulatovic’s car in the northern town of Kolasin, which she believes was an act of intimidation prompted by her reporting. Her car was partially destroyed while parked behind her home. The police have launched an investigation with the aim of identifying those responsible and are protecting Bulatovic, who has been shaken by the incident. She told Reporters Without Borders she thought the attack was linked to her journalistic work. She was already the victim of a verbal attack last October after writing an article about the debt that a private company had contracted with the municipal government. “We call on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation with the aim of finding those responsible for this attack and deterring all those who might be tempted to target journalists for doing investigative reporting that is in the public interest,” Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles said. This is not the first time that a journalist has been attacked in Montenegro for shedding light on the controversial practices of local companies. Reporters Without Borders already condemned a physical attack on newspaper reporter Lidija Nikcevic in January 2014 and the detonation of an explosive device outside the headquarters of the Vijesti daily newspaper in December 2013. In a press release at the time, Reporters Without Borders urged the authorities to guarantee the safety of journalists because their safety is necessary to guarantee freedom of information. Montenegro is ranked 114th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.