The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the threat made by the Serbian Orthodox priest Bogdan Simanic against the Serbian journalist Aleksandra Delic, a correspondent for the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti.
Delic was threatened on 1 February 2010 by Simanic over her critical reporting about the owners of Glas Podrinja. Simanic, who is a co-owner of the Serbian weekly, posed the threat by telephone when talking to another journalist, and said, translated into English: “You can tell her I will break her legs when I see her! She will remember who Priest Bogdan is.”
SEEMO Secretary-General Oliver Vujovic said: “SEEMO strongly condemns the threat against Delic. As the Church plays an important role in moral development within society, SEEMO urges the Serbian Orthodox Priest Bogdan Simanic, as a Church representative and moreover as a co-owner of a weekly himself, to respect freedom of expression and opinion, and not to threaten journalists for exercising their right to freedom of speech. “Vujovic added: “It is essential that journalists are able to report freely and without fear of intimidation or harassment so that they can carry out the vital activity of informing the public.”