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Voice of America female journalist attacked, threatened for "bias in favour of Albanians"

(ANEM/IFEX) - The following is an ANEM statement:

ANEM DEMANDS IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION AFTER ATTACK ON PRISTINA BASED VOA CORRESPONDENT

BELGRADE, October 18, 2007 - Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) expresses its gravest concern and protest after the physical attack on Vesna Bojicic, journalist and Pristina based correspondent of Voice of America's Serbian Language Service.

During the night between October 15 and October 16, the journalist heard somebody knocking on the door of her apartment in Caglavica. She opened the door and a man in a black camouflage uniform with a phantom cap mask over his head forced his way in and started beating her on her head and body while shouting insults and criticisms for her work with the Serbian Language Service for the Voice of America and her "bias in favour of Albanians". In the end the attacker warned her to take his final warning seriously, or else he'd kill her and abduct her child before killing her.

Vesna Bojicic has already been threatened and attacked for her journalistic work. Back in 2004, during the March upheaval, her house was set on fire, and this last attack was preceded by a series of threats that grew more and more serious after the scheduling of local and general elections in Kosovo.

ANEM calls on all relevant institutions and bodies in Kosovo to immediately start an investigation and find the perpetrators of the attack on the Voice of America correspondent, but also to take all the necessary measures in order to provide conditions for unobstructed work of journalists, so that they can perform their duty without any fear for their personal safety and for the safety of their families.

ANEM appeals to all the professional media and journalists' associations and to the democratically orientated general public to openly show their solidarity with journalist Vesna Bojicic.

ANEM demands that the international administration and interim Kosovo institutions provide for and take care of personal safety and security and basic conditions for unobstructed journalistic work in Kosovo, as well as to secure and ensure protection for liberty of expression as the necessary precondition for any social democratization in Kosovo.

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