Vice President of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) BiH Ruzica Jukic published on October 15, 2019. on her Facebook profile a post titled “When Journalists Do Gestapo Work”. In this post, Jukic stated that Admir Muslimovic, a journalist with the Balkan Investigative Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH), asked her to tell him if she had evidence for her claim that the HJPC could be demolished, and that she felt like she is being examined by the investigator. In the same post, Jukic also stated that she is “the target of constant attack by ‘eligible’ journalists and other ‘experts'” and eventually concluded: “Poor us with such journalists.”
Journalist Admir Muslimovic reported this incident to the Free Media Help Line, stating that he had talked with Ruzica Jukic professionally and appropriately with the usual questions, and that she had made a number of false claims and speculations in her post.
Since this is not the first time that HJPC members have publicly called out and criticized journalists and the media in BiH, the Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association on October 17, 2019. sent a public letter to the HJPC members for their inappropriate communication with the media, as well as withholding information from journalists about the work of the HJPC.
The editorial board of Radiosarajevo.ba has informed the public that on September 27, 2019. in the evening a group of hooligans, posing as fans of the Football Club “Sarajevo”, attacked the editorial board and the staff of their portal.
After a professional check, Radiosarajevo.ba announced that a fan of FC “Sarajevo” had been sentenced to five years in prison in Belarus for drug possession. This was a motive for group of hooligans to force the portal editor to physically remove the text from the system, and then, under the same threats, he was forced to call other editorial boards of portals and newspapers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also to ask them to remove the aforementioned contents.
The swift reaction of the Sarajevo Canton MUP led to arresting two suspects in the attack that same night. The acting Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of KS has proposed that the Sarajevo Municipal Court order one-month custody for both suspects for unlawful deprivation of liberty and endangering security.
However, the judge accepted the defense’s motion to defend the suspects from freedom with a ban on access to media outlets and journalists within 100 meters, so they were released from custody.
After the BH Journalists Association made a press release regarding the continued political pressure on RTV Zenica employees, the RTV Zenica editorial board sent a broad response to BH Journalists, in which they threatened with a defamation lawsuit against the BHJA.
In their announcement RTV Zenica editorial board states, among other things, that BH Journalists “can easily bear the consequences of groundless and libelous statements, conclusions and requests”.
After the BH Journalists’ Steering Committee issued a press release regarding the attack on RTV TK cameraman Ademir Mesanovic at the Kreka mine, and the Free Media Help Line asked Lukavac Police Directorate to investigate the case and to inform them of the actions taken, the security agency “Cobra Security” threatened with lawsuit for defamation against BH Journalists.
Former MP of Political Party “Vetëvendosje” and ex- Ombudsman of Kosovo- Sami Kurteshi has publicly labeled the former the General Director of Radio and Television of Kosovo RTK Mentor Shala, and Chief Editor Ridvan Berisha regarding Astrit Dehari’s death in jail. Through a post on his Facebook account, Kurteshi has incriminated them for their role in this case.
After announcing that she had been banned from presenting her book “Huzur” at the festival in Citluk (Herzegovina), writer and journalist Martina Mlinarevic received a series of threatening hate messages through social networks.
The Free Media Help Line requested the Federal Police Directorate, the MUP of the West Herzegovina Canton (ZHK) and the ZHK Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the case. The FUP inspector contacted the coordinator of the FMHL and they are working together on the case.
Near the “Rajko Mitic” Stadium, Federalna TV correspondent Dejan Kozul tried to make a television report near the setup tank. At the first moment, one man approached him following by group of young man, and asked him what he was doing there. After the journalist replied to them that he was making a TV report for the Federalna TV from Sarajevo, they asked him if he is a Serb. According to Kozul, this verbal attack could have overgrown into a physical attack, but because of his collage cameraman, it didn’t happen.
Near the stadium “Rajko Mitic”, ahead of the football game between Red Star – Young Boys, the N1 television crew tried to find out what was the fans’ attitude about setting up a tank near the stadium of Red Star. While recording their first interviewee, from the crowd they heard some abusive names like “spies”, “thieves”, “American mercenaries”… After the cameraman and journalist tried to avoid the incident and decided to move to the other side of the street, a group of young men continued to follow them. “I found the interviewees, I didn’t see them coming from behind, and when I asked a question, one of the guys grabbed the camera lens, tried to grab and break the microphone and when he failed, he ripped the sponge off the microphone and throw it on the floor”, said N1 journalist Mladen Savatovic.
Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) has verbally attacked Gazeta Express with a press release. Through it, PDK has publicly called Kosovo’s citizens to not take into consideration the news published by Gazeta Express. The attack of PDK become more unacceptable by saying that “The website has already embarked on this mission with a clear purpose to hurt the PDK with an incomprehensible hostility. So, therefore, we call upon all Kosovo citizens to cast doubt on the news published by Gazeta Express.”