SafeJournalists: Urgently Investigate and Sanction Threats to Editor of Prometej Portal in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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    photo: canva

    Franjo Sarcevic, the editor of the portal Prometej, received a series of threats, insults and became the target of hate speech on social networks, as well as media harassment, after he published a column in which he commented on the statements and iconography of the solemn celebration of March 1 – the Independence Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    After the publication of the author’s text entitled “Another senseless Independence Day” and the criticism of the mayor of Sarajevo, Benjamina Karic, who published a photo with a boy in a camouflage uniform, a barrage of insults, threats and hate speech started on social networks and in the media.

    The Management Board of BH Journalists Association strongly condemned the threatening messages and hate speech addressed to Franjo Sarcevic. The Association expects the police to react as soon as possible, immediately bring them to the police station and interrogate the persons behind the profiles on social networks from which the threats were sent. The Association also notes that this is not the first time that the editor of Prometej has faced brutal threats of violence, mostly when he wrote and spoke contrary to the views of the political majority in Sarajevo, Mostar or other parts of BH.

    “The fact that a number of media based in Sarajevo also contributed to the spread of hatred and intolerance towards Franjo Sarcevic, violating the code of journalistic ethics and giving preference to “patriotic journalism” instead of objective and truthful reporting, with reasonable acceptance of different views as an inalienable part of freedom of expression and pluralism of opinion is particularly worrying for the Management Board of BHJA. No media or journalist should spread hatred towards anyone, and especially not towards other journalists, even when they do not agree with their opinion or have completely different beliefs”, concludes the BHJA.

    The SafeJournalists network, which represents media professionals in the Western Balkans, joins its member BHJA and calls on the competent institutions to urgently conduct an investigation and take legal measures to sanction the persons behind the threatened journalist. The network gives full support to Franjo Sarcevic and stands in solidarity with him in the fight against online violence and threats to which he is exposed.

     

    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, 06.03.2024  

    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