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Reporter Marijana Simic and cameraman Bojan Kosanin assaulted by police officers

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a 16 March 2009 press release by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate:

SEEMO/IPI Condemns Physical Assault on TV Cameraman in Kosovo

Vienna, 16 March 2009

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the recent physical assault on Bojan Kosanin, a cameraman of the TV production Glas Juga and KiM Radio, in Silovo/Shilovo, Kosovo.

According to information before SEEMO, on 13 March, police stopped a press vehicle carrying Marijana Simic and Bojan Kosanin, a reporter and cameraman, respectively, for Glas Juga and KiM Radio, some 200 metres outside the village of Silovo/Shilovo. Kosanin was pulled out of the car by the police officers, who, without asking for his papers, pushed him up against the vehicle and started kicking him in the legs.

After assaulting Kosanin, the police officers searched the car, again without asking for papers. According to media reports, the police had performed a routine motorway check.

It is alarming that the police consider such behaviour a routine check, said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General. He added, "An open media environment allowing the free flow of information is a fundamental principle of any democratic society. SEEMO strongly condemns the physical abuse of journalists and other media workers by police officers and urges the authorities to do everything in their power to secure safe working conditions for journalists and to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

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