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Bomb attack on broadcaster creates additional sense of insecurity among the media, says ANEM

(ANEM/IFEX) - BELGRADE, October 5th, 2009 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly condemns the bomb attack on Radio Television Pink (RTV Pink), which occurred in the early hours of 4 October 2009.

Police confirmed that two unidentified perpetrators threw a hand grenade at the main entrance of RTV Pink from a moving motorcycle. The entrance doors were completely destroyed, but fortunately no injuries were reported. RTV Pink program editor Tanya Jordovic said that it was thought that the bombing was connected to a parking dispute, and that the reason for the incident was not linked to the editorial policy of the media outlet.

ANEM notes that the bomb thrown at RTV Pink, regardless of the motives, is not only an example of the continuing wave of violence that has engulfed Belgrade for the past few weeks, but also of numerous attacks on media outlets, their equipment and journalists, which have remained unsolved and unpunished for the past several years. Less than four months ago, a lit torch was thrown at the entrance to the building of another media company, ANEM member RTV B92, and the perpetrators of that attack have not yet been found. ANEM points out that the slowness of authorities in finding those responsible for the attacks and bringing them to justice results in repeated and more drastic attacks.

Other examples of attacks with explosives that have not been solved include the one on journalist Dejan Anastasijevic in 2007 and the planting of a bomb, which fortunately did not explode, under a vehicle belonging to RTV B92 in Raska, in 2004. The fact that attacks on the media and journalists, including murders, remain unresolved after numerous years, as in the case of Milan Pantic, Slavko Curuvija or Dade Vujasinovic, and the slowness of judicial proceedings even after the perpetrators are found have created a climate in which the attackers on RTV Pink were not even deterred by surveillance cameras on the media outlet's building and in its immediate surroundings.

ANEM notes that, regardless of the motives behind it, the attack itself creates an additional sense of insecurity among the media and media workers, which prevents them from doing their work and, as such, is a factor that limits freedom of expression and the right to access public information.

ANEM expresses full solidarity with RTV Pink and its employees and demands that the authorities promptly carry out a detailed investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

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