SARAJEVO, 24.10.2019. – The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association and the Free Media Help Line are making a public request to the MUP of Sarajevo Canton, the SIPA Security Agency and the competent prosecutor’s office to conduct an urgent and effective investigation into threats addressed to journalists of the portal „Žurnal“, after a series of articles on possible criminal activities related to money laundering and drug dealers.
In a video message, recorded and sent by a person named Mirza Gacanin, with a place of residence in the Netherlands, along with vulgar curses and mentions of the journalist’s children, it is widely said that the journalist will be “searched through canals”.
BHJA and the Free Media Help Line consider this a serious threat to the safety and life of journalists, first of all Avdo Avdic, author of a series of articles followed by these threats, but also of all others in the newsroom dealing with crime-related topics. Endangering and threats to the safety of journalists are a criminal act and especially brutal attack on the freedom of expression and safety of journalists, and should not be a means of dealing with the media and expressing dissatisfaction with the way journalists write about certain persons or topics.
Therefore, we urge the relevant police authorities and the prosecutor’s offices in BiH to take all legal powers and measures to protect the safety of journalists, and to seek cooperation with the police from the Netherlands through international legal assistance in order to sanction the person who sent the threatening video message.
BH Journalists and the Free Media Help Line will inform international organizations for the protection of the media freedom and safety of journalists about this case and request their reaction, and take the necessary internalization measures of this entire case.
The Steering Committee of BH Journalists Association
BHN, Sarajevo, 24/10/2019