Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about journalist and blogger Slobodan Vaskovic’s announcement that he fled Bosnia and Herzegovina after receiving death threats from members of the government of Republika Srpska, the autonomous Serbian region where he lives.
RSF calls on the authorities to shed light on the case. This is not the first time that Vaskovic has been the target of threats but the fact that he fled the country without warning suggests that they have escalated.
The author of a popular and respected blog called “Sa druge strane” (From the other side) since 2011, Vaskovic is very critical of Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik and his close associates, and has often accused them of embezzlement and corruption.
“We firmly condemn threats against a journalist who has been forced to leave his country to protect his physical safety and we call for an investigation,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s European Union-Balkans desk.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina Association of Journalists issued a statement yesterday calling on the interior ministry and the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina to demonstrate impartiality by conducting a thorough investigation into the threats against Vaskovic.
Vaskovic reported on his blog last night that he had returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina but did not elaborate.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is ranked 68th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.