Sarajevo/Banja Luka, 17.12.2020. – The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association and the Free Media Help Line strongly condemn the death threats and endangering the safety of journalists and other employees of Nezavisne novine from Banja Luka. An unknown man called the editorial office of this media today from an unknown telephone number, and in a threatening voice asked them to close the office earlier, saying that “everyone will be dead today”.
Aggressive threats with possible, serious consequences for the life and professional integrity of Nezavisne novine employees, represent a serious attack on freedom of expression and safety of journalists, which is why the RS MUP must immediately launch an investigation and establish the attacker’s identity, and take other legal actions to severely sanction threats.
The Steering Committee of BH Journalists expresses concern over the serious increase in violence against journalists in BiH, recalling that the Free Media Help Line registered 17 explicit threats, physical attacks and death threats during 2020. None of these cases ended in punishing the attackers! Therefore, we emphasize once again that each of these cases is a serious crime, which requires an urgent response and decisive measures by the police, judicial and other institutions to punish the perpetrators. Only harsh sanctions and legal measures can stop threats like the one addressed to the Nezavisne editorial office and stop new violence against media professionals in BiH!
The Steering Committee of BH Journalists and the Free Media Help Line will inform domestic and international organizations for the protection of freedom of expression and safety of journalists about threats to Nezavisne novine, and request their response.