The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina Kathleen Kavalec and Acting Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro Siv-Katrine Leirtroe urge the authorities in Montenegro and BiH to swiftly investigate and prosecute those responsible for recent death threats against journalist and columnist Dragan Bursać and Editor in Chief of antenam.net Darko Šuković.
“Targeting and attacking journalists because of their work is an attack on freedom of expression, which is a fundamental human right. The authorities must do their utmost to swiftly identify and prosecute those responsible for threats against Bursać and Šuković, and to ensure that journalists can perform their professional activities without being intimidated or threatened,” Ribeiro said.
“Authorities must show that there can be no impunity for such acts. These types of threats are clearly intended to have a chilling effect on free media and cannot be tolerated in a democratic society,” said Kavalec. “Journalists play a vital role in sharing critical information and informing the public, and law enforcement authorities must help protect their safety as they do so.”
Leirtroe said that journalists should be able to freely perform their duties, without threats and intimidation. “The lack of legal protections for journalists against those who attack them, as well as impunity fuels a vicious cycle of violence.” She added that the increased number of physical and verbal attacks in the last few years are worrying, urging institutions to properly address these cases.
Bursać is a recipient of many awards, the recent one being the Best Journalist in Southeast Europe awarded by the German Association for Southeast Europe in recognition for his outstanding work and contribution to democracy, the rule of law and media freedom in Europe.