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Journalist's home bombed in assassination attempt following coverage on criminal activities and war crimes

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a letter by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate, to the Serbian authorities:

H.E. Vojislav Kostunica
Prime Minister of Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia
Fax: +381 11 36 17 697

H.E. Boris Tadic
President of Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia
Fax: +381 11 30 30 868

Vienna, 16 April 2007

Your Excellencies,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is alarmed at a recent assassination attempt on a Serbian journalist.

According to information before SEEMO, on 14 April at 2.50 a.m., a bomb exploded in front of the apartment window of Dejan Anastasijevic, an investigative reporter and editor for the Belgrade-based weekly magazine Vreme. The explosion destroyed the windows and the bedroom in his ground floor apartment in the centre of Belgrade, damaging the building and cars parked nearby. Fortunately, no one was injured. The assault may have been connected to his investigative reporting. In the last ten years, Anastasijevic has reported about criminal activities in Serbia, as well as war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.

SEEMO strongly condemns this bomb attack, which was clearly an attempt to kill the journalist and his family.

We urge Your Excellencies to do everything in your power to investigate this case and to prevent such cases from occurring in the future, as well as to secure safe working conditions for journalists. Journalists must be able to work freely, without their lives being threatened due to their reporting.

SEEMO further urges the Serbian authorities to bring to justice the killers of Serbian journalist Milan Pantic, shot dead on 11 June 2001 in the town of Jagodina. In addition, the Belgrade authorities must carry out full and proper investigations into the murder of Slavko Curuvija, director and owner of daily Dnevni telegraf and the magazine Evropljanin, shot dead on 11 April 1999, and the unexplained death on 8 April 1994 of journalist Dada Vujasinovic, a freelancer and contributor to the Belgrade magazine Duga.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic
SEEMO Secretary General

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