Condemning the act of police in Prijedor and the Ministry of Interior Affairs of RS : exterminating journalists from Slovenia to trial

Source/Author: BHN

PRIJEDOR, 11.01.2018. –  The Steering Committee of BH journalists’ Association considers the examining of Slovenian journalists by the police in the Police Station Prijedor that took place on Wednesday, 10 January unacceptable and characterized this procedure as violation of Freedom of Expression. It is particularly worrying that the arrest and questioning followed after police officers legitimized Slovenian colleagues and found that they were journalists on the job.

In this context, the Steering Committee of BH Journalists reminds the police structures in Prijedor and the relevant authorities of The Ministry of Interior Affairs of RS that the OSCE Police Guideline in  Dealing with the Media explicitly state that ”  Police cannot be involved or cannot punish journalists during their performing of tasks”, and in particular emphasizes that ” Journalists have right to take photos, to record, make notes, observe, make interviews and/or make reports without asking for promotion of government or police.”

The unreasonable and uncivilized act of the police in Prijedor is also a violation of the right on free, safe and undisturbed work of journalists. This right is protected by the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Constitution of the Republika Srpska, as well as numerous domestic laws and international declarations, and equally applies to Bosnian-Herzegovinian journalists as well as journalists from other countries that record and work in the territory of BiH.

Therefore, the Steering Committee of BHJA demands from The Ministry of Interior Affairs of Republika Srpska to to inform the public in Bosnia and Herzegovina why and by whose order the Prijedor police officers violated the media freedom and rights of journalists from Slovenia and to publicly apologize to this journalists.

We remind, that the journalists Irena Joveva  and Miha Orešnik were taken to the Police Station in Prijedor while filming an investigational journalists’ story about Dijana Đuđić, a BiH citizen from Prijedor, who is apparently borrowed 450,000 Euros to Janez Janša, president of the Social Democratic Union of Slovenia.