The Management Board of the BH Journalists Association noted the unacceptably aggressive political and security threats to N1 and BN television stations, as well as long-term attempts to destroy the professional integrity and dignity of their female journalists and editors.
On September 12, the President of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Milorad Dodik, insulted the journalist Tijana Milinovic, the correspondent of BN TV from Banja Luka, as well as all long-time journalists and owners of this television, calling them “foreign mercenaries,” “traitors” and “too protected” while threatening that “their servile and treacherous reporting policy will come to an end.”
On the same day, another BN TV journalist – Vesna Vukmirovic was the victim of a verbal attack in Doboj, who was insulted by Srecko Rekanovic, the Speaker of the Doboj Municipal Assembly, who refused to answer a legitimate journalistic question only because it was about BN TV.
For months, a targeted, inappropriate and very dangerous manhunt has been going on through the social networks Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) against Amir Zukic, N1’s Editor in Chief, where several people from the criminal milieu are posting threatening video messages, cursing and spreading hateful comments and death threats, questioning the personal and family security of N1’s Editor in Chief.
Additionally, the political request of Sanja Vulic, representative of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) in the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliament, to prohibit the transmission of N1’s terrestrial signal in the territory of the RS, which will soon be discussed at the BiH Parliament, is also scandalous, the Association said.
BiH Journalists’s Management Board expresses its concern over the fact that in both BiH entities – the Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska, there is a years-long brutal, primitive and security-threatening political and nationalist hunt against journalists and editors of these two private televisions, pluralistically oriented and dedicated to the right of citizens to access to various information, opinions and contents of public importance. The attempt to silence N1 and BN television, as well as discouraging and preventing their employees from doing their jobs freely and with dignity, are contrary to EU standards of freedom of media and expression. Such actions directly violate BiH's conditions for accession to the European Union, including the list of priorities that the country must fulfil in order to even get the opportunity to start negotiations on joining the community of European states.
The Management Board calls on the competent police and prosecutorial authorities to urgently investigate the threats to colleagues from N1 and BN Television and to take legal measures to punish the persons who threaten their safety and question their professional integrity. At the same time, BH Journalists call on the representatives and institutions of the international community in BiH to use their powers and respond adequately to public officials in BiH disrespecting media freedom or the rights and dignity of media workers, the Association said.