Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, which represents more than 8000 members, strongly condemns the brutal attack on Daily “Vijesti” journalist from Podgorica Olivera Lakić, who was wounded in the leg on front of the building where she lives.
On May, 8 “Vijesti” reported that Lakić’s said that a man approached near the entrance of the building where she lives, and shot her in the leg. She saw two other men running away. The bullet passed through her right leg and Lakić is out of danger.
Olivera Lakić is the most targeted journalist in Montenegro: in March 2012 she was beaten in front of her home, while a year before she had been threatened twice for a series of articles on alleged illegal production and smuggling of cigarettes. In 2014 she received threats from persons close to the man who attacked her in 2012. Montenegrin authorities prosecuted most of the persons who threatened Lakić, but never investigated who ordered these threats and attacks. Additionally, Lakić’s claims regarding cigarette smuggling have not been conclusively investigated.
“The future of media scene in Montenegro depends on solving this case. If it remains unsolved, journalists should seriously consider alternative ways of protecting their lives and professional integrity“, stated Marijana Camovic, president of TUMM and concluded that
the state of Montenegro must not be a synonym for a place where free word is threatened by bullets.”
The attack on Lakić is the third case of attack and threat against journalists recorded in Montenegro in 2018 and tenth since 2017. The majority of the most serious cases of attacks on journalists still remain unsolved. No one at the Police or the Prosecution was ever held responsible for this.
The Regional platform welcomes declared condemnations of the attack on Lakić by the relevant institutions in Montenegro, but urges them to take a step further and identify and process the perpetrators but, more importantly, the masterminds behind this dreadful attack.
Any attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.
Skoplje – Beograd – Podgorica – Prishtina – Sarajevo- Zagreb, 09.05.2018.
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