Sarajevo/Banja Luka, 12.01.2023. – The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association and the Free Media Help Line (FMHL) strongly condemn the threats addressed to the editorial office of the O channel (O kanal) from Sarajevo and to journalist Kenan Ćosić, after this TV station broadcast an interview with Boris Malagurski, the director of the film “Republika Srpska: The Struggle for Freedom”.
Due to the decision to conduct an interview with Malagurski, in the last two days journalist Ćosić and O channel have been exposed to numerous threats and insults on social networks, which include monstrous death threats, calls for violence and lynching of Ćosić and his family members.
The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association emphasizes that such threats to journalists and the media constitute a serious criminal offense, and those who make them must be held accountable and sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code.
Regardless of whether someone doesn’t like the decision to conduct an interview with the director Malagurski, regardless of the quality of the interview and the topic of the mentioned film, no one can endanger the life of Kenan Ćosić, send threats and/or publish pictures of him and his family, including children, putting them all at serious security risk.
Freedom of the media also implies freedom of choice of interlocutors in TV shows and other media content, and this is something that cannot and must not be questioned in democratic societies. If someone believes that the broadcast of the aforementioned interview violated the code of journalistic ethics or the rules of the Communications Regulatory Agency (RAK), or is otherwise considered damaged and upset by the interview, they can express their displeasure by reacting to the media directly or reporting to RAK, and not by threatening the media outlet, journalist and members of his family.
The Steering Committee of BH Journalists and the Free Media Help Line will require all competent institutions in Sarajevo, Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska to conduct an investigation into this case as soon as possible and sanction all persons who sent threats to journalist Ćosić and the editorial office of O channel.