June 19, 2023

19.06.2023 – Media Crews in Leposavić / Leposaviq in Kosovo Targeted Again: RTK Cameraman Bardh Bekteshi Sustains Severe Head and Body Injuries

Media crews from Pristina, Kosovo, faced another brutal assault on Friday 16 June 2023, while covering protests in Leposavić/ Leposaviq in Kosovo. The protest happened during the visit of the Minister of Administration and Local Government of Kosovo, Elbert Krasniqi, to the new named mayor of the Municipality of Leposavić / Leposaviq. The local Serbian community, that boycotted the last election, is not accepting the new named mayor and is since weeks protesting against the authorities in Pristina.

Protesters hurled stones at media teams from Tëvë1, Arbresh.info, RTV Dukagjini, RTK, Klan Kosova and Indeks Online.

Bardh Bekteshi, a cameraman from the public service media (PSM) Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), was subjected to a physical attack, as captured in distressing footage shared by a colleague who was present at the scene. Bekteshi was injured. In addition to the assault, Bekteshi’s camera was destroyed. Venera Xhoxhaj, a journalist working for RTK, verified the incident in her statement to the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK). Also attacked and injured were Qendresa Sinani, working for Klan Kosova, Laura Kerolli, and the cameraman, Ardijan Shala working for Indeks Online, Dorentina Thaqi working for RTV Dukagjini, Pleurat Salihut working for Arbresh.info and Albin Rrahmani from Tëvë1.

Additional the protesters took the personal phones from several journalists.

SEEMO urgently calls on the local population in Leposavić /Leposaviq, local authorities, all those responsible for security in the northern municipalities of Kosovo, Kosovo Police, Kosovo Force (KFOR), European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and all other international authorities to ensure the safety of journalists and other media staff reporting in Kosovo.

#fyp #mediafreedom #seemo #freespeech#southeasteuropemediaorganisation #ngo #journalist #journalistunderattack #kosovo #RTK #BardhBekteshi #Tëvë1 #RTVDukagjini #KlanKosova #KTV #journalistattacked #journalist #journalistassaulted #SEEMO #pressfreedom#mediafreedom #freemedia