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ANEM condemns attack on Radio Kontakt Plus journalist

(ANEM/IFEX) - Belgrade, June 8, 2011 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly condemns an attack on Zeljko Tvrdisic, the editor-in-chief of ANEM member Radio Kontakt Plus, in Kosovska Mitrovica.

Zeljko Tvrdisic, who is also president of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo and Metohija and a correspondent for the Tanjug news agency, was attacked while reporting on the demolition of illegally constructed buildings in Kosovska Mitrovica. A statement by Radio Kontakt Plus said that the owner of one of the illegally constructed shops, Zoran Katanic, hurled insults at Tvrdisic and struck him on the head without any provocation. The statement also noted that, in December 2009, when the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a decision on the dissolution of the Assembly of the Municipality of Kosovska Mitrovica and the formation of a temporary council for the municipality, Katanic, from the G17 political party, was one of the appointed members of the temporary council.

Tvrdisic announced that he was pressing criminal charges against Katanic. The case was reported to the Kosovo Police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia.

ANEM notes that physical attacks and insults aimed at journalists while on assignment create an atmosphere of fear, limiting the media in their work of informing the public on issues of public interest. It is of utmost importance for the provision of information to the Serbian community in Kosovo that the activities of journalists and local media outlets are not jeopardised due to personal safety issues.

ANEM expresses its full solidarity with everyone who is exposed to threats and attacks for practicing journalism. The organisation calls on the authorities to investigate the circumstances of the attack on Tvrdisic and to inform the public of the results of the investigation and prosecute the perpetrators.

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