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Two female journalists subjected to verbal attack after interviewing politician

(ANEM/IFEX) - The following is an ANEM statement:

Inadmissible pressures on media through primitive insults directed at female journalists

BELGRADE, November 23, 2007 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) joins all parties that have already condemned the verbal assaults and insults that Petar Lukovic wrote against journalists, associates and employees of B92, an ANEM member station in Serbia.

In the text he wrote for the Croatian weekly "Feral tribjun", which is also published on the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Serbia website, Petar Lukovic launched into frenzied insults of Olja Beckovic, author and editor of the "Utisak nedelje" (Impression of the Week) programme, and Danica Vucenic, editor of the "Kaziprst" (Index Finger) programme on Radio B92.

Lukovic verbally abused the two journalists, apparently provoked by the questions that they posed to the LDP's president, Cedomir Jovanovic, on their respective programmes. His tirade ranged from the most primitive personal insults and making medical diagnoses all the way to unbelievable accusations of "supporting fascism".

ANEM would like to underline the fact that publishing such a text on the website of the Liberal Democratic Party can hardly be interpreted in any other way than as a form of pressure exerted by this political party on the media and as an invitation to lynch journalists who do their job in a professional and principled manner. ANEM insists that such practices should be abandoned.

ANEM emphasizes that the professional qualities and skills of the journalists that Lukovic insulted have already been proven by awards and prizes that they have received, as well as by the high quality of their programmes, and, in the case of Danica Vucenic, by the number of young journalists in the media across Serbia whom she has taught in training programmes organized by ANEM.

ANEM is thus demonstrating its solidarity with Olja Beckovic, Danica Vucenic and all the other people who have been verbally attacked, insulted and subjected to all sorts of pressures because of their professionalism.

Sasa Mirkovic,
ANEM President

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