The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, and Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, strongly condemned the physical attack and threats against RTV Zenica journalist Sinan Gluhić.
Reportedly, on 5 June, a member of a political party in Zenica assaulted journalist Sinan Gluhić. Earlier, the President of the party’s Cantonal Board was reported to have made a threatening phone call to the journalist. These incidents are believed to be connected to Gluhić’s posts on social media, on 31 May, about the delayed construction work on a local road.
“I strongly condemn the shameful and dangerous attacks against journalist Gluhić. Such attacks and threats against the press are unacceptable, especially by politicians. I call on the authorities to swiftly investigate the incidents, bring the perpetrators to justice, and protect the journalist,” said Désir. The Representative further emphasized that a culture of impunity should not prevail.
“Any attack or threat made against journalists, especially in connection to media investigations on issues of public interest, is unacceptable. When incidents such as this occur, all members of society must take them seriously, in particular the local authorities that should provide journalists the protection they need at once,” stated Kavalec.
Désir and Kavalec recalled the Ministerial Council’s Decision No. 3/18 on the safety of journalists, which urges “political leaders, public officials and/or authorities to refrain from intimidating, threatening or condoning – and to unequivocally condemn – violence against journalists”. They concluded that targeting media professionals because of their work is an attack on freedom of expression, democratic values and citizens’ right to be informed.