BRUSSELS, 14.09.2017. – A Montenegrin journalist working for Dan newspaper, Vladimir Otasevic, reported that the Prime Minister’s brother, Velizar Markovic, had threatened his safety during a phone call on Monday 11 September.
In the conversation, Otasevic was asking for a phone number of the Prime Minister’s other brother when Markovic insulted and verbally threatened him, saying that he shouldn’t be surprised if someone ends up dead at the end. An audio recording of the conversation was released by Dan on Tuesday.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today strongly condemned the death threats and backed its affiliate in Montenegro, the Trade Union Media of Montenegro (SMCG), in expressing solidarity to the victim.
“The threat to Otesevic’s death is the most serious incident that has occurred in the journalistic community for nearly two years, SMCG says in a statement. The union gives support and solidarity to Vladimir Otesevic and hopes that the authorities will find a way to protect him and allow him to work freely.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir also condemned the death threats and urged the authorities in Montenegro to swiftly investigate this incident: “Allowing such threats to go unanswered only perpetuates a culture of impunity,” he said.
The case will be reported to the Council of Europe platform for the safety of journalists.
EFJ, Brussels, 14/09/2017