Bosnian press protests attack on radio station

Bosnian press protests attack on radio station
Some 50 Bosnian journalists are escorted by police officers as they walk the streets of Bosnian capital, on September 30, 2019, during their protest in front of Bosnian government building, county prosecutor's office and Sarajevo F.C. football club. (AFP)
Updated 30 September 2019

Bosnian press protests attack on radio station

Bosnian press protests attack on radio station
  • Several politicians, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mission and the US Embassy denounced the incident

SARAJEVO: Sarajevo journalists protested Monday outside a football club whose fans stormed a radio station and threatened to kill its reporters unless they removed an article from their website.

Two FK Sarajevo supporters were arrested over the late Friday night incident.

After breaking into the newsroom, the hooligans forced a radio reporter to delete an article about one of their fans who had been convicted in Belarus for drug possession.

The reporter was also forced to call several other media organizations to tell them to delete the same news item, editor Faruk Vele said.

“Colleagues were very scared for him and his family and he obeyed,” he told local media.

On Monday, around 50 journalists marched to the prosecutor’s offices and Bosnia’s Parliament in protest against the latest violence against Bosnian media.

“It has become a norm to attack a journalist. The line should be drawn — it can’t work like this any longer,” said Fedzad Forto, secretary-general of Bosnia’s journalist association.

At the gathering, Forto urged authorities to boost protection for journalists, warning that without support they may feel pressured to exercise self-censorship.

Bosnian journalists are often subjected to threats and attacks, and their associations routinely complain about the inefficiency of the justice system. Several politicians, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mission and the US Embassy denounced the incident.

The article in question was a report on the arrest of a supporter of FK Sarajevo who was jailed for five years after the return leg of the third round of the Europa League between the Bosnian team and Belarus’ FC BATE Borisov.