CIP supports SEEMO protest against attacks on Kosova journalists
The Center for Islamic Pluralism endorses the following statement by the South East Europe Media Organisation, an affiliate of the International Press Institute. CIP does not support the presence of the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in Kosova. The text has been edited to conform to CIP style.
Vienna, 11 December 2013
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), today condemned pressure directed against journalists in Kosova amid last week's elections.
A crew from Silovo [Serbia]-based Radio Television Puls said a security guard at a municipal building in a village near Gjilan, in Kosova, attacked them on 1 December 2013 when they arrived to cover a story about an incident that occurred during the elections.
According to the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) and the Association of Journalists of Kosovo-Metohija (DNKiM), the security guard, whom the groups identified as Vladan Aksić, allegedly hit TV Puls cameraman Nenad Stanković in front of the building. The groups said other individuals then joined Aksić, punching and kicking Stanković before taking his camera and the footage he recorded.
When Stanković and others in the TV Puls crew reported the incident to police, UNS and DNKiM said, they were kept at the police station for a lengthy amount of time for no apparent reason. Meanwhile, the groups claimed, none of the alleged attackers were questioned or arrested.
SEEMO also expressed alarm about another incident on 1 December in which Fatmir Seholi, a Prishtina-based correspondent for the Serbian news agency Tanjug, said that unknown individuals torched his car in front of a local restaurant in Gračanica. The car was burned at about 17.45 while Seholi was on duty reporting from the second round of local elections in Kosova.
SEEMO called on Kosova authorities, as well as the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) to investigate both incidents.
"It is important that journalists in Kosova can work free without any pressure", SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujović said. "We also call the authorities in Kosova to investigate all unsolved cases from the past and to punish those responsible for threats and attacks against journalists."