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Za media agency journalists assaulted, threatened with death while trying to cover murder in Zajecar

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


The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly protested the threats and assaults against reporters and cameramen from the "Za Media" news agency, who wanted to make a package for the national television stations B92, Pink and Avala.

A murder was committed at the public swimming pool in Zajecar, on July 13th, 2008, by a masked murderer who jumped in the pool area over the swimming pool fence, shot three bullets in the head of his victim and killed him, jumped again over the fence and ran away on his motorbike. Subsequently, friends of the murdered man tried to prevent policemen from conducting a crime scene investigation, and then assaulted members of a television crew of the "Za Media" news agency. Police officers assaulted the attackers and secured a safe way out from the swimming pool area in Zajecar for the TV crew, but another assault took place in front of the news agency's premises. The attackers then damaged a camera, took away the cassette with the filmed material and threatened to kill the reporters if they dared publish any details on the murder case.

Police issued a public statement saying that Ivica Dacíc, Minister of Interior Affairs, ordered that media professionals must be protected from pressures and attacks, and stated that two persons suspected of the assaults on the "Za Media" news agency reporters had already been detained. ANEM would like to point out the especially disturbing fact that this was the second assault on media professionals in less than a month, after a recent attack on a reporter and cameraman in the centre of Novi Pazar. Moreover, ANEM notes that television crews are being attacked while performing their job, and they are threatened with murder in public places, in the very centre of towns in Serbia.

ANEM insists that it is necessary to bring the perpetrators before justice, and points out that the relevant officials should immediately take adequate measures to improve the safety levels for journalists in Serbia, without any deliberation and before another incident of this type takes place with tragic and fatal outcomes. Media organisations in Serbia should be allowed to inform the general public on all the issues they are entitled to be informed about, protected from any pressures and fears for their own physical safety.

Sasa Mirkovic
ANEM Chairman

For further information on the recent assault on journalists in Novi Pazar, see:

For further information on the recent attack on a television station, see:

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