News

October 2, 2019 - Updated on October 3, 2019

Bosnian authorities urged to step up protection for journalists

Rally of Bosnian journalists in Sarajevo on September 30, 2019
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Bosnian authorities to establish effective measures for protecting journalists after two soccer fans threatened to kill the journalists of Sarajevo radio station on 27 September if they did not delete a story from its website.

The two FK Sarajevo football club supporters were arrested shortly after their attack on Radio Sarajevo, in which they demanded the removal of a report that an FK Sarajevo fan was recently sentenced to five years in prison in Belarus for possession of cocaine.

 

Threatening reprisals against journalist Almir Sokolović’s family, they also forced Sokolović to call other media outlets and tell them to delete the story from their websites.

 

A line has been crossed with this extremely violent attack and these death threats against journalists and their families,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk.

 

Noting that the instigators of last year’s brutal attack on TV reporter Vladimir Kovacevic are still at large, we call for effective security measures and judicial procedures against those who obstruct the freedom to inform and promote self-censorship in  Bosnia and Herzegovina. Local football federations and football clubs must also condemn this unacceptable behaviour.”

 

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is ranked 63rd in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, journalists are targeted both because of their ethnic origins and because of the content they produce. Around 50 journalists demonstrated against the latest violence outside parliament and the prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo on 30 September.