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Explosive device planted in Serbian journalist's backyard

(ANEM/IFEX) - 31 October 2012 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly condemns the planting of an explosive device in the backyard of a house belonging to the family of Tanja Jankovic, a B92 journalist in Vranje, Serbia. ANEM demands that the authorities immediately investigate the case and expose the people behind the repeated attacks on the journalist and members of her family.

ANEM reminds readers that Jankovic's family was also attacked during her cousin's wedding on 23 September. Jankovic's father's jaw was shattered in two places and his nose broken during the attack, while her sister suffered a fractured nose and underwent immediate surgery. Her sister's fiancé's chest cavity was crushed, while the journalist herself suffered bruises. The media reported Jankovic's statement that one of the attackers had been a police inspector from Vranje - Nenad Jovanovic.

Jankovic said that the motive behind the attack was her campaign on social networks and blogs against the disastrous security situation in Vranje and her publicly stated questions about the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of criminal offenses committed in Vranje. These include last year's case - when the mayor's car was set on fire - as well as the destruction of the Vranje Theater by a a fire that occurred in July of this year.

After the incident, Jankovic said that she had seen the police report the case. In her words, the report says that the fight was caused by her sister's fiancé, which is contrary to the existing video recordings made by security cameras. After her complaint, the minister of internal affairs demanded that the internal control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs investigate all relevant facts related to the incident.

The planting of an explosive device in the backyard of the house belonging to Jankovic's family occurred after she posted on her Facebook page that she had acquired the recordings of the attack on her family made by the security cameras. Additionally, immediately before the planting of the explosive device, the journalist had also published photographs of documents that indicate a possible attempt to hide the responsibility of individual members of the police for injuries inflicted on her father, sister and her sister's fiancé.

ANEM expresses its full solidarity with the journalist and her family and demands that the authorities immediately take measures to guarantee the safety of the Jankovic family. ANEM also demands that the authorities and make public all results of the internal control conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding the incident that occurred in Vranje on 23 September. ANEM demands sanctions for everyone responsible for the cover-up of the roles played by individual members of the police in the infliction of serious injuries to the members of the Jankovic family, if it turns out that such attempt at cover-up took place.

WHAT OTHER IFEX MEMBERS ARE SAYING

Third Serbian journalist targeted by explosive device in less than two weeks (International Press Institute)

On 23 October, someone launched a Molotov cocktail at the terrace of Biljana Vujovic, a presenter with TV Kopernikus, at approximately at 3:30. Vujovic, who was awake at the time, was able to react quickly and to extinguish a fire that started spreading. One week earlier, on the evening of 16 October, someone threw a Molotov cocktail at the house of Damir Dragic, director of the Belgrade-based tabloid daily Informer. Although no one was injured, the family car was gutted by fire.

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