BH Journalists assoc condemns Konakovic's, Dodik's behaviour toward journalists

NEWS 24.02.202311:54 0 komentara
BH Novinari

The Steering Committee of the BH Journalists Association called on all officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina to “stop name-calling, labeling and verbal attacks on journalists and the media outlets,” noting that BiH’s Foreign Minister, Elmedin Konakovic, as well as the President of the country’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Milorad Dodik, “lashed out” at the journalists recently. Pročitaj više

“This type of behaviour represents open political pressure on the media and restriction of freedom of expression, which is not in accordance with democratic principles and values,” the association said.

It said that, in the past two days, Konakovic and Dodik verbally lashed out at the journalists of Klix and BN Television, “solely because the journalists did their job professionally.”

After portal Klix reported about the statement he made at the press conference in Zagreb, Konakovic directly called out the journalist of this portal, Senja Mahinic, saying that he is “intrigued to make a story” out of everything the minister “does personally”.

“Konakovic went a step further in his desire to “teach” journalists how to do their job, and said that before they publish his statement, which was publicly broadcasted and directly transmitted via television, they should first call him to confirm that he really said what he said?!” the association said.

The association said that Dodik “verbally attacked” BN TV journalists at a press conference in the RS Government building on Thursday.

“When asked by a journalist about the abuse of public functions, Dodik, instead of answering, told her that the word “fraud” should be next to her name. When journalist Vladimir Kovacevic, who survived an assassination attempt in 2018, reacted to his insults, Dodik told him to “heal his frustrations somewhere else”. After that, Dodik called BN journalists Tijana Milinkovic and Milan Kovac “paranoid” and prevented them from asking him more questions”, it said.

The organisation stressed that this is not the first time that Dodik and Konakovic, “without any reason, verbally attack and publicly target certain journalists and media outlets,” and that, in both cases, the journalists did their job in full accordance with professional norms – “they reported on the politicians’ statements and asked them a few questions.”

“The fact that such verbal attacks and false accusations against journalists are becoming more and more intense and aggressive is particularly worrying in the period when in Republika Srpska, according to the directive of Milorad Dodik, changes to the law by which defamation will become a criminal offence are being prepared.

nfortunately, some politicians in the Federation of BiH don’t hide their desire to re-criminalize defamation in that entity as well, all so that they can threaten “disobedient” journalists with prison sentences if they report in a way that they don’t like,” the organisation warned.

“We remind that the freedom of the media and the safety of journalists is one of the fundamental conditions for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the European Union, for which both Dodik and Konakovic are declaratively advocating,” the statement concluded.

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