SafeJournalists: Unacceptable safety´s threats to journalist Avda Avdić and the BH Journalists Association

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    The SafeJournalists network draws attention to the continuous and brutal political violence by  Elmedin Konaković, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) towards journalist Avda Avdić and the BH Journalists Association (BHJA) aimed  to discrediting them professionally and jeopardizing their safety. 

     

    In the middle of last week (May 8, 2024), Minister Elemedin Konakovič posted a video on his Facebook profile, in which Avdo Avdić was presented as a person who bases own investigative stories on the untruths, unreliable sources and manipulative information. The controversial video was created by editing parts of Avdić’s texts and interviews he gave to different media. Along with the publication of the video, the Minister Konaković wrote: “There is no stopping now, this story must go to the end“, which may imply even more drastic and safety-threatening actions towards to this investigative reporter and editor of the Istraga news portal. Days later, Minister Konakoivć continued to publish comments and edited content aimed to spread an intolerance and professional denunciation of the journalist Avdić and our partner´s association BH Journalists.

     

    Threats to journalist Avda Avdić intensified after the arrest of several persons suspected of money laundering in BiH at the end of April, who are connected to the “Tito and Dino” drug cartel. For years, Avdić researched and wrote about the leaders of this drug cartel, and about their potential connections with individuals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, among whom was a close friend of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

     

    The SafeJournalists network strongly condemns safety threats to journalist Avdo Avdić, as well as Minister Elmedin Konaković’s intention to share the controversial video on social networks and contribute to the multiplication of online threats and hateful comments not only against journalist Avdić, but also towards the BHJA. The actions by Minister Konaković as a public official represent an unacceptable freedom of expression violation, safety and dignified journalistic work, as well as an inappropriate exercise of political power over media workers. Also, the Network joins to the BHJA, a member of SafeJournalists, in supporting journalists and media in BiH, reminding of the legitimate association´s right and obligation to publicly react to all attacks on journalists, protecting their right to the freedom of expression and safety work. 

     

    The SafeJournalists network will inform relevant national and international actors about this case. Every attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.

     

    Pristina – Skopje – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Belgrade – Podgorica, 15.05.2024.

     

    Association of Journalists of Kosovo

    Association of Macedonian Journalists

    Association of BH journalists

    Croatian Journalists’ Association

    Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia

    Media Union of Montenegro