The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemned the verbal attack on Dragisa Sikimic, editor-in-chief of Moja Herzegovina news portal in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sikimic explained that he was verbally abused by a local politician. Allegedly, the politician was dissatisfied with the content of two articles posted on the portal, after which he called Sikimic, threatening to sue him for defamation and to ‘destroy him financially’ by asking the court for a 50,000 EUR fine.
‘SEEMO condemns attempts by public figures to threaten or intimidate journalists for simply doing their jobs by reporting on matters that are in the public interest’, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic, said. ‘Public figures must be aware that they are subject to a higher level of scrutiny than private individuals as a result of the trust that has been placed in them by the public that elected them to office. Threats of this kind are simply unacceptable.’
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.