BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, 04/02/2009
The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute, is deeply concerned over recent death threats made against journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to information received by SEEMO, Bakir Hedziomerovic, editor-in-chief of the programme “60 Minutes”, broadcast by the television channel FBiH, and one of the country’s leading investigative journalists, received multiple death threats in connection with his reporting on alleged links between politicians and organised crime. Another journalist and a colleague of Hedziomerovic, Avdo Avdic, also received death threats linked to his reporting on organised crime in the country. Both Hedziomerovic and Avdic have been placed under police supervision and are trying to carry on with their work as journalists.
“SEEMO is deeply concerned about the reoccurrence of death threats against journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic. “We are alarmed that the number of threats against journalists has increased rapidly within the past few months. Therefore, SEEMO urges both the local and national authorities to investigate these cases and to take all necessary steps to protect the lives of journalists and freedom of the press in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A safe working environment for journalists is a fundamental principle of every democratic society and it is in the interest of democratic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina that journalists are free to report and investigate stories without fear or pressure.”