BRUSSELS, 10.08.2017. – The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is supporting the Western Balkans Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety in condemning recent death threat against Dragan Bursać, a journalist from Banja Luka, who was threatened because of his article “I was silent while Bihać was shelled” (Šutio sam dok je Bihać granatiran).
The EFJ welcomes the swift reaction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska, who arrested the person who threatened him.
In the article, Bursać recalls memories of the three-year siege of the town Bihać that was surrounded by two Serbian armies and the action Storm (Oluja) which followed. The article was posted on Facebook as well, where he received insults and hate comments from a user A.B., including a death threat. This is the third time that the journalist was seriously threatened through social networks since August last year. Only a month ago death threats were sent to him because of another article. The police reacted in two recent cases, but the prosecution has not done anything and none of the perpetrators have been punished until this case.
The EFJ will submit the case to the Council of Europe’s platform for the protection of journalism and send letters to the relevant Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, calling them to respect international conventions protecting the human rights and the freedom of expression.
“In line with International standards of the Council of Europe, and in particular the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina signed, we are certain that you will do everything to implement this recommendation and guarantee full investigation, prosecution and protection for Dragan Bursac and all other journalists.
EFJ, Brussels, 10/08/2017