November 23, 2023

23.11.2023 – SEEMO Condemns Verbal Attack on a Journalist in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 17 November 2023, at approximately 3:30 pm, N1 TV BIH journalist Snežana Mitrović received a call alleged from the cabinet of the President of Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Milorad Dodik, during which a person presented himself as Dodik and with a voice that sounds like from Dodik, verbally attacked and insulted her. According to N1 the call was from a landline phone number. First with Mitrović spoke a lady who presented herself as Vesna, and after that, she was allegedly connected to President Dodik.

The incident followed a previous verbal assault on Thursday 16 November 2023 by Dodik during a press conference, where Mitrović questioned him about his alleged connection to individuals arrested for drug trafficking. Dodik accused N1 journalists of promoting an “anti-Serbian narrative” and being part of a policy that undermines Republika Srpska. Despite claiming that his accusations were not directed at Mitrović personally, Dodik took the microphone from her hands, stating it was to spare her feelings.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is asking the authorities in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, urgently to investigate the case: if this was really a call from President Dodik or a fake call from a person who presented himself as Dodik. If this was a call from Dodik, as N1 believes, the police should take urgently all necessary measures to protect Mitrović, including filing a complaint for workplace harassment and urging an investigation. If it was a fake call the police should take legal steps against a person who presents himself as President of Republika Srpska.

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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