News

August 30, 2016

Kosovo: RSF seeks protection for broadcasting chief after attack, threat

Mentor Shala, head of Kosovo's state broadcaster RTK / © infoglobi.info

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a bomb attack on the home of Mentor

Shala, the head of public radio and TV broadcaster RTK – the second attack of this

kind targeting RTK in less than a week – and calls on the Kosovar authorities to

protect Shala, who has also been threatened.


The bomb was set off outside Shala’s home on the evening of 28 August, just six days

after a grenade was thrown into the courtyard of RTK headquarters in downtown

Pristina. Neither explosion caused any injuries.


The attack was claimed in short message to the media by a hitherto unknown group

calling itself “Rugovasit,” which accused Shala of supporting the Kosovar

government’s proposal to cede 80 square kilometres of territory to Montenegro in a

proposed redrawing of the border between the two countries.


Kosovo’s parliament is due to vote on 1 September on the proposal, which was

drafted after months of tension with Montenegro since the autumn of 2015.

“Rugovasit” gets its name from the Rugovo Mountains along the border

In its communiqué, the group called for the proposal’s withdrawal, described the

bombing as a warning and said Shala’s life would be in danger he did not stand

down as RTK’s director-general.


“We firmly condemn the use of threats against a media executive,” said Pauline

Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s Europe-Balkans desk. “Opposition to this proposal

and the way the state-owned broadcaster has covered the negotiations cannot

constitute grounds for acts of violence and physical threats against journalists. We

urge the authorities to conduct an investigation and to protect Shala.”

Kosovo is ranked 90th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom

Index.