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Reoccurrence of death threats against journalist

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 17 November 2009 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the reoccurring death threats against leading investigative journalist Bakir Hadziomerovic, editor-in-chief of the television programme "60 Minutes," broadcast by channel FBiH.

Hadziomerovic and his family receive continuous death threats in connection with his reporting on alleged links between politicians and organised crime, according to sources. The Bosnian-Herzegovian journalist association, BH Novinari, and the Sarajevo-based Linija za pomoc novinara (Free Media Help line) have also expressed concern about the threats.

In February 2008, SEEMO reported about a case where Hadziomerovic also received death threats and again expressed its concern about the violent media environment for investigative journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the political pressure they face.

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic stated, "SEEMO is very concerned about the death threats against Hadziomerovic and it fully supports BH Novinari and Linija za pomoc novinara in their fight for a free media reporting environment. SEEMO urges both local and national authorities to investigate this case in depth and to take all necessary steps to protect the lives of Hadziomerovic and his family and, moreover, the freedom of the press in Bosnia and Herzegovina as such."

Vujovic added that journalists must be free to report and investigate cases without fear of pressure or death threats. "It must be clear that violence is never the answer to express any dissatisfaction towards journalists and in order to have a democratic society, investigative journalism and critical reporting is needed," said Vujovic.

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