April 11, 2024

11.04.2024 – SEEMO Condemns Verbal Assault on CAPITAL Journalists by Mayor of Šipovo

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the allegedly disgraceful behavior exhibited by the mayor of Šipovo in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina towards Bojana Ninković, a journalist for CAPITAL (https://www.capital.ba/), and Siniša Vukelić, the editor-in-chief of the same publication.

The allegedly incident occurred on 3 April 2024, when Ninković reached out to mayor for comment regarding the business of his private company. However, instead of providing a reasoned response, he allegedly launched into a tirade of vulgarities and insults directed at the journalist, demonstrating a flagrant disregard for journalistic inquiry and accountability. You can hear the recorded conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF_SwxW153E&t=4s

Unfortunately, instead of engaging in a constructive dialogue, he resorted to verbal abuse and intimidation tactics. Connected to this case, reacted also the association BH journalists. According to this association the behavior of the mayor is unacceptable. He not only violated the basic postulates of decent public communication, but also showed how this public official uses his power and position in the local government towards those who ask legitimate journalistic questions about the business of his private company.

Last year on 15 September 2023, the journalists working for Naratorium (https://naratorium.ba/) received a call from a person claiming to be allegedly the mayor of Šipovo, suspected to be motivated by their investigative article. This person verbally assaulted the journalists Alena Beširević and Harun Dinarević. The call, recorded and published, revealed this persons explicit language and threats of sexual violence, prompting the journalist to release it alongside screenshots of emails sent to this person prior to the incident, indicating prior communication attempts and the explicit nature of the content. The conversation is online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54vEYmH_UI8


The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the behavior exhibited by the mayor of Šipovo towards Bojana Ninković and Siniša Vukelić. The verbal abuse and intimidation directed at journalists seeking to fulfill their professional duties represent a blatant attack on press freedom and the essential role of the media in upholding democracy. Such actions undermine the integrity of journalism and threaten the safety and security of journalists in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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