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Police assault journalist

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 10 February 2010 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly condemns recent police pressure on Nezavisna Televizija IC (Independent Television IC) journalist Osman Drina in Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina.

On 6 February 2010, Drina was in the town of Zenica, reporting on the first league of women's basketball in Bosnia Herzegovina, when he was both verbally and physically assaulted by policemen. Despite the fact Drina was a journalist who was reporting while on duty, Drina was taken to the municipal police station of Zenica.

Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General, condemned the police obstruction of the work of Drina: "Both verbal and physical attacks on journalists are unacceptable." Vujovic added: "It is particularly worrying if these attacks are coming from the municipal police who are supposed to function as a safeguard of rules and order within a society."

SEEMO therefore welcomes the police investigation announced by the commissar of the municipal police station of Zenica and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. SEEMO supports the Bosnia Herzegovina journalists' association, BH Novinari, and the Sarajevo-based Linija za pomoc novinara (Free Media Help Line) and urges the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities to take the necessary action against the persons responsible for the attack to ensure that it is appropriately followed up on.

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