IFJ Calls for UNMIK Safety Review Following Shooting of Kosovo Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists today expressed its shock and concern over the attempted murder of Kosovo journalist, Bardhyl Ajeti, shot on Friday 3 June. Ajeti has been flown to a hospital in Milan where he remains in a critical but stable condition with a bullet resting in his head and another in his body.

“We are appalled by this latest attack,” said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. “Forty-one journalists have already died across the globe this year, and this latest attack only adds to our fears for the future.  Everything must be done to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Seventeen days earlier, on 17 May, Bardhyl Ajeti, correspondent for the Kosovo daily, Bota Sot, had appealed to the administration for protection following an article published about him in another newspaper. Unfortunately no assistance was forthcoming.

It is the second shooting of a Kosovo journalist in eight months following the attack on Fatmire Terdevci in September 2004.

“The IFJ calls upon the UN led administration to conduct a thorough investigation over its failure to heed the warnings made by Ajeti, and to conduct a review of their procedures for protecting journalists,” added White. “Every effort now needs to be made to restore confidence among Kosovo journalists that it is safe for them to work.”

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 140 countries