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Critical journalist assaulted, injured in his home

(ANEM/IFEX) - The following is an ANEM press release:

ANEM SEVERELY CONDEMNS ATTACK ON MLADEN STOJOVIC

BELGRADE, May 28, 2008 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) publicly condemns the attack on Montenegrin sports commentator and journalist Mladen Stojovic.

Stojovic, a journalist with the daily "Danas" and Belgrade correspondent of the Podgorica-based daily "Vijesti", was assaulted last Friday, May 23, in his apartment in Bar. Heavy blows on his head caused amnesia, and Mladen Stojovic cannot remember exactly what happened, except that he woke up covered in blood in his apartment. During the assault, his cheek was pierced with a sharp object that was not found, and his jaw was broken in two places and he has many injuries all over his head.

Stojovic was the first journalist who dared to write about the fixing of football matches in the former Yugoslavia some ten years ago. He was also one of the guests in the "Insider" ("Insajder") investigative series of B92 Television programme, dedicated to the football mafia in Serbia and Montenegro.

The Montenegrin Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that an investigation of this incident was underway. Journalists were denied an answer as to whether the Montenegrin Police had provided any police protection for Stojovic, since the identity of the attackers was unknown to the Police and they were at large.

ANEM earnestly appeals to all the relevant institutions and organizations in Montenegro to provide all the necessary guarantees of safety and security for Mladen Stojovic, and to immediately and without any procrastination investigate this assault, to inform the general public on the results of their investigation and to bring the attackers before the relevant court. ANEM would also like to remind the general public that there are many other unsolved cases of threats and assaults against journalists and media professionals in this region, and especially against those journalists who are doing investigative work or who at least dare to speak publicly on the omnipresent criminalization of our societies. ANEM would also like to point to the fact that all-inclusive, widespread and energetic regional activities are necessary in order to provide the necessary conditions for media professionals and media organizations to inform the general public on everything that they are entitled to get informed about, free and protected from any pressure and without any fear for their own safety.

ANEM would thus like to appeal to national, regional and international journalists', professional and medial associations to show their solidarity with Mladen Stojovic and all others who have experienced pressures and assaults owing to their work as media professionals.

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