30 July 2008
IFJ and EFJ Condemn Attacks on Journalists in Belgrade and Demand Protection for Media
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today condemned several serious attacks on journalists covering a demonstration of Radovan Karadzic supporters in the centre of Belgrade on Tuesday evening.
Paco Audije, Deputy Secretary General of IFJ, said: “Our colleagues confirm that the police and Tomislav Nicolic, one of the main rally organisers, did not respect their previous promises to assure the safe work of the journalists”.
As a result of the attacks at least two cameramen were injured. Oscar Martínez, from the Spanish public television, TVE, had his camera broken and he was treated in hospital after being hit with an iron bar. Bosko Brankovic, from B-92 TV of Belgrade, had his leg fractured when filming the rally. In both cases, pro-Karadzic demonstrators seem to be responsible. However, journalist Milos Djorelijevski, from the Beta Serbian Press Agency, was hit by anti-riot police after showing them his professional card identification.
“At a time when Serbia was sending Radovan Karadzic to The Hague to face trial for war crimes”, declared Arne König, President of the EFJ, “these attacks put the clock back to journalists reminding the dark period of Milosevic”.
The IFJ and the EFJ demand a full inquiry and the arrest of those responsible of the attacks and ask for full protection of journalists when doing their job.
For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.