Protest of journalists in Banja Luka: Attack on Kovačević – an attack on freedom of expression

Aljazzera Balkans

BANJA LUKA, 07.11.2018. – It is unacceptable that more than two months after the attempted murder of Vladimir Kovacevic, a journalist of BN Television, the second suspect was not taken into custody, nor were the motives and the orderers of the attack detected, was stated by the journalists in Banja Luka in a protest gathering outside the premises of the Club of Journalists in this city.

Siniša Vukelić, president of The BHJA journalists club in Banja Luka, when addressing to the demonstrants, he said  that although it is known that the second suspect is outside Banja Luka, the court in this city refuses to issue an international arrest warrant and that only a central arrest warrant, reports Anadolija.

“We think that this further undermines the credibility of the Republika Srpska institutions and we do not believe in their desire to bring this case to an end”, he said.

‘As an attack on officials’

In two years, the Free Media Help Line in BiH recorded 118 attacks on journalists in this country, and most of these cases was never solved, nor did a judicial epilogue occur.

“If this is not solved, the BHJA Journalists Club in Banja Luka and the media community will not observe silently, we will request this case to be resolved like any other. We will try all legal means to fight for our rights, we will not allow to remain such an environment in which we feel threatened and we can not perform our duty and do our work”, said Vukelić.

According to his work,  BHJA Journalists Club in Banja Luka will continue requesting from the RS National Assembly Amendments to RS Criminal Code in order to treat attacks on journalists as attacks on officials.

“This is not an attack on one journalist, this is an attack on freedom of expression in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, emphasized Vukelić.

Discover the motives and the perpetrators of the attack

Vladimir Kovačević said that it is most important to discover the real motives and the perpetrators of the attack on him.

“I do not expect this case to be completely resolved, I do not believe that the orderers will be discovered, because by now there should be official information. What is alarming is that there is no information from the prosecution, the fact is that they can not reveal the details of the investigation, but they could organize some kind of public address”, he said.

The prosecution suspects Marko Čolić and Nedeljko Dukić, for whom a central arrest warrant has been issued, for “causing serious bodily injuries in the area of the head and body” to Kovačević with telescopic sticks on August 26th in Banja Luka Kovačević.

Aljazzera Balkans, Banja Luka, 06/11/2018