The Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety, which represents more than 8,000 members, strongly condemns the physical attack on RTV TK cameraman Ademir Mesanovic. It calls the competent judicial authorities and police to process and adequately punish attackers as soon as possible.
Ademir Mesanovic was attacked by member of a private security company “Cobra” while covering the eviction of families form their properties near the Kreka mine. Member of the security company grabbed Mesanovic’s camera, damaged it and threw it in mud. Other present media crews were banned the filming and accessing the area.
The Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety considers the attack on Mesanovic and prohibition of filming an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression and safety of media professionals. It is a particularly brutal attempt to prevent the media from reporting about an event of public interest, and the eviction and destiny of families living near the mine is such event.
“The physical attack on the Mesanovic is just another examples of endangering basic media freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina. What is worrying is that the State company of the Kreka mine is behind this attack. It ordered banning the filming and hired a private security company”, explained president of BH Journalists Association (BHJA) Marko Divkovic. Divkovic added that the impunity of attack on journalists and the ineffective treatment of police and judicial bodies has become a practice in BiH and, as such, is a serious attack on media freedom.
“This type of attack on the journalists further reinforces the position of BHJA regarding the need for urgent change of criminal laws in regards to more efficient and urgent action by the judiciary in the protection of journalists’ rights and safety,” emphasized Marko Divkovic.
The Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety supports BHJA call for urgent prosecution of an attack against Mesanovic. Since the beginning of 2019 it recorded 20 attacks on journalists in BH in its safejournalists.net database.
It once again emphasizes that every attack on journalists is direct attack on freedom of information and the right of citizens to be informed. The Platform will inform all European institutions of this incident and request their intervention in the area of media freedom and security of journalists in the Western Balkans region.
Every attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest, democracy, and rights of all citizens.
Skopje – Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Zagreb, 17.05.2019.
BH Journalists Association
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
Independent Journalists Association of Serbia