The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the recent threats directed against Radivoje Gutic, a local correspondent for the Belgrade, Serbia-based daily newspaper Vecernje novosti in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to SEEMO’s sources, Gutic informed the local police in Trebinje that on 9 April 2009 he received two threatening calls on his mobile phone from a person who identified himself as a senior representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Trebinje. According to Gutic, who has been a journalist for 25 years, the threats came after he reported in Vecernje novosti on different opinions connected to activities of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The latest articles written by Gutic were published in Vecernje novosti on 8 April 2009.
Commenting on the incident, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said:
It is essential that journalists are able to report freely and without fear of intimidation or harassment in order that they can carry out their vital activity of informing the public. He added, The Serbian Orthodox Church must be open to critical reporting and allow the media to present different opinions about its activities.