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"Studio B" television station journalists and RTS cameraman assaulted during protest

(ANEM/IFEX) - The following is a 25 March 2009 ANEM press release:

ANEM strongly condemns attacks on "Studio B" crew and RTS cameraman

BELGRADE, March 25, 2009 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly condemns the attacks on the crew from the Belgrade TV station "Studio B" and a RTS cameraman, who were reporting on a 24 March protest organized by right-wing organizations in Belgrade on the occasion of the10th anniversary of the NATO bombardment.

"Studio B" journalist Igor Kosut said that three young people verbally and physically attacked him, as well as cameraman Milos Petrovic and assistant Alesandar Bombek. After replying to one of the attackers, who asked them which TV station they belonged to, Bombek received several blows to the stomach. In the ensuing fighting, after the attackers were joined by several others, cameraman Milos Petrovic was also hit. While trying to grab the equipment away from the crew, the attackers broke several pieces of TV equipment. An RTS cameraman was also attacked and hit by two young men while the crew was passing through the crowd trying to leave the protest at the Republic Square.

ANEM points out that protests organized by right-wing organizations in Belgrade, regardless of their reasons, always turns into the systematic threatening of journalists and camera crews, and silencing of the media, with the aim to create an atmosphere of fear which would prevent the media from informing the public on issues of public interest.

ANEM confirms its unequivocal support for those who are exposed to threats and attacks because of their work in the media field. The organization calls on the officials to investigate all cases of attacks on journalists and their crews, to inform the public of the results of such investigations and to prosecute the perpetrators, as well as the organizers and instigators, of systematic threats to the media and suppression of freedom of expression.

ANEM Chairman, Sasa Mirkovic

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