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ANEM condemns attack on Studio B television crew

(ANEM/IFEX) - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly condemns an attack on a Studio B television crew. Studio B says that on 22 February 2012, at the intersection of Cara Dusana and Tadeusa Koscuska streets in downtown Belgrade, one of their journalists, a cameraman and an assistant were recording a report about the functioning of public transport in the city. Dejan Z., aged 35, first hurled insults at them from the balcony of a nearby building, then came outside and physically attacked the assistant cameraman, hitting him in the head and stomach.

The police arrested the attacker and placed him in custody for 48 hours, based on a reasonable suspicion that he would disturb the public order. Charges were subsequently laid against him. The police said the television crew's assailant explained that he had carried out the attack because "they are making commercials while people in Serbia live in poverty."

ANEM has previously drawn attention to several recent cases of attacks on media outlets and journalists, noting that pressure on them has increased in the lead-up to parliamentary and local elections. It seems that journalists and cameramen from Serbian media outlets have become hostages to the perception that even the most routine reporting on an issue, such as the functioning of public transport, could constitute a disguised election campaign.

ANEM calls on all political party officials who intend to take part in the upcoming elections, as well as participants in debates on issues of public importance, to express their solidarity with the journalists and cameramen who were attacked. In addition, the organisation calls on them to contribute to the creation of an atmosphere in which journalists and media outlets are able to carry out their work and report on issues of interest to the public without any pressure or fear for their safety.
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