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Editor-in-chief of radio station threatened by local politician

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 7 August 2009 - The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns the threats directed against Radio Lim in Priboj, Serbia, and its editor-in-chief, Danica Guduric. According to information received by SEEMO from the Journalists Association of Serbia (UNS), the threats were made by the Deputy Mayor of Priboj, Dragomir Minic.

On 4 August 2009, Guduric was threatened by the deputy mayor during a telephone conversation between the journalist and the director of a local sports centre and swimming pool. Guduric was investigating a physical attack that occurred at the swimming pool on 3 August 2009. After the director of the sports centre, Misa Jecmenica, confirmed over the telephone that there had been an attack and that the police was informed about the incident, Deputy Mayor Minic took the mobile phone from Jecmenica and, using foul language, threatened the journalist. He also threatened to close down Radio Lim.

"Any threats against journalists, whether physical or verbal, must be condemned," said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic. "We are especially concerned that that this threat came from a public figure, namely the deputy mayor of Priboj. A safe working environment for journalists and the ability to report freely are essential in a democratic society. SEEMO therefore urges the local authorities in Priboj to investigate this case, and also calls upon Deputy Mayor Minic to issue a public apology and to refrain from threatening the media."

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