BH JOURNALISTS: Unacceptable political pressures of representatives Zahiragić and Bandić on TVSA

Sarajevo, June 19, 2024. – Steering Committee of the Association of BH Journalists and Free Media Help Line (FMHL) send a public protest to the College of the Sarajevo Canton Assembly due to the abuse of the parliamentary session for political pressure on Cantonal TV Sarajevo(TVSA), as well as unacceptable attempts to interfere in the editorial policy and present misinformation about the structure and content of certain programs of this public media program.

At the last session of the Sarajevo Canton Assembly, where the report on the operations of the TVSA for 2022 should be considered, representatives Haris Zahiragić (SDA) and Muamer Bandić (SBiH) used  live broadcast of the session for political assessments on the work of this media and its role as a public service for citizens of  Canton Sarajevo, and presenting slanderous reviews about editorial decisions and the selection of guests for certain shows. These two representatives also verbally insulted and attacked program director Zerina Ćosić Vrabac and other journalists and editors of this media house, and Haris Zahiragić even played recordings of a TVSA show during the broadcast of the parliamentary session in an attempt to professionally discredit the cantonal public television.

The Steering Committee of BH Journalists considers representatives Zahiragić and Bandić directly responsible for unacceptable political pressure on TVSA and defamatory statements about journalists and editors, which is why they should be sanctioned within the Sarajevo Canton Assembly or before the courts competent for defamation. At the same time, responsibility for the misuse of municipal benches for media freedom violations and the Collegium of the Assembly, which allowed untruths about the work of this media, as well as diverting attention from the report on TVSA’s operations to illegal interference in editorial policy and the creation of media content.

The Steering Committee of BH Journalists draws the attention of all representatives as well as the Collegium of  Canton Sarajevo Assembly that, regardless of the fact that they are the founders of the public cantonal television, their competences and the rights of the founders of TVSA must in no case be misused for political purposes or aimed at limiting freedom of expression and independent making editorial decisions. At the same time, the Assembly of Canton Sarajevo and its leaders must respect the dignity and professional integrity of all employees of TVSA, whose obligation is to work in the interest of the citizens of Sarajevo Canton, not any party or representative in this legislative body.

Steering Committee of BH Journalists

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