The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns the latest pressure against the reporters of the “Justice in Kosovo” TV program.
On 6 March 2012, the mayor of Prizren, a town 60 kilometers away from Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, allegedly threatened the TV crew of the program “Justice in Kosovo.” He reportedly said that he would break their camera if they did not leave the restaurant where the reporters tried to obtain an official declaration from the mayor.
“Justice in Kosovo” is transmitted on Kosovo public broadcaster Radio Television Kosovo (RTK) and deals with corruption, among other legal topics.
SEEMO has learned that the program team had long sought to interview the mayor, regarding the allegations about irregular financing of political parties and the apparent misuse of public tenders in the Municipality of Prizren. The mayor refused to meet the reporters. When they found him in a local restaurant and tried to record his views on camera, the mayor allegedly threatened the journalist, while his chief of protocol grabbed the reporter by the arm and tried to push him out of the restaurant.
“I urge Kosovo political authorities, especially on the local level, to abstain from pressuring media,” said SEEMO secretary general Oliver Vujovic.
The public has the right to know what their representatives are doing.”