SafeJournalists: Mayor of Sipovo in Bosnia and Herzegovina Must Bear Consequences for Threats and Insults to Journalists of Capital Portal

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    photo: canva

    The SafeJournalists Network condemns in the strongest pressure and the brutal insults address by  Milan Kovac, mayor of Sipovo and prominent member of Union of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) political party, to Bojana Ninkovic, journalist, and Sinisa Vukelic, editor-in-chief of the news portal Capital from Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The threats and insults followed after the journalist Bojana Ninkovic phoned the mayor Milan Kovac to get his comment for an investigative story about the business of his private company. Mayor Kovac called Capital journalists insulting words, cursed their mother, and in a primitive and unacceptable way tried to question their intention to include his statement and comments in their investigative story. Curses and insults continued throughout the whole conversation, even though the journalist repeatedly said that the entire conversation was being recorded and would be published.

    The Board of BH Journalists Association (BHJA) fully supports journalist Bojana Ninkovic and editor Sinisa Vukelic, and encourages them to take the measures prescribed by law in order to finally sanction the unacceptable primitive and misogynistic communication of Mayor Kovac with journalists from the Capital portal and other investigative media in BH.

    The SafeJournalists Network assesses the actions of Mayor Milan Kovac as an unacceptable violation of the freedom of expression, safety and dignified journalist ́s work, and an inappropriate display of political power against media workers. Also, the Network recognized this case as a typical misogynistic and political attack on a women journalist with elements of gender-based violence, which Mayor Kovac demonstrated earlier in his communication with female journalists, as warned by the colleagues from BH Journalists.

    The SafeJournalist network joins its member BHJA in supporting the journalists of the Capital portal and their intention to file lawsuits and take other legal actions before the institutions responsible for the protection of freedom of expression and the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence against media workers.

     

    The SafeJournalists network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.

    Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.

     

    Pristina – Skopje – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Belgrade – Podgorica, 05.04.2024  

    Association of Journalists of Kosovo

    Association of Journalists of Macedonia

    BH Journalists Association

    Croatian Journalists’ Association

    Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

    Trade Union of Media of Montenegro