BH JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION: Mayor Milan Kovač must be punished for vulgar insults

Sarajevo/Banja Luka 4/4/2024.  Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association and Free Media Help Line (FMHL) strongly condemn the brutal insults and vulgar address of Mayor of municipality of Šipovo and prominent SNSD member Milan Kovač to journalists Bojana Ninković and Siniša Vukelić, editor of the Capital portal from Banja Luka. Journalist Ninković phoned mayor of municipality Kovač and asked for his comment regarding the topic she was investigating and which refers to the business of this public official’s private company, which was followed by unacceptable curses and insults from the Capital portal team.

BH journalists and FMHL assess the behavior of mayor of municipality, Kovač as unacceptable, who not only violated the basic postulates of decent public communication, but also showed how this public official uses his power and position in the local government towards those who ask legitimate journalistic questions about the business of his private company. It is also a devastating fact that this high official of the SNSD party did not change his vocabulary and communication with the journalist even after he was repeatedly warned that the entire conversation was being recorded!?

Kovač’s primitive procedure is also a blatant example of violation of the right to freedom of expression and the dignified work of journalist Bojana Ninković, and it contains elements of not only professional but also gender-based violence, inherent to the men in public positions when they have no argument to answer investigative questions of female journalists. In this context, we remind you of the similar, brutal insults by the mayor of Šipovo municipality to colleagues of the Naratorium portal and to journalist Alena Beširević, who wrote an investigative story about his business in September 2023.

The Board of BH Journalists fully supports the journalist Bojana Ninković and the editor Siniša Vukelić, and encourages them to take measures prescribed by law in order to finally sanction the unacceptable primitive and misogynistic communication of the scholar Milan Kovač with the journalists of the Capital portal and other investigative media in BiH. A team of FMHL lawyers will be available to the media to initiate lawsuits and other proceedings before the institutions responsible for the protection of freedom of expression and the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence.

Steering Committee of BH Journalists

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