The Balkans Today: 25th - 29th July 2016
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The Balkans Today

Up to the minute news and updates from the Balkan region

The Balkans Today: 25th - 29th July 2016

  • Top stories from the Balkans this Monday:
    • Britain's decision to pull out of the EU presidency in the second half of 2017 leaves Bulgaria with the challenge of leading the European Council for the first time at short notice and in a turbulent time. Read more.
    • The final closure of the long defunct Zastava car factory in Kragujevac has left many Serbs grieving for a part of their history that is now definitely over. Read more.
    • Macedonia's top journalists' association has savaged the recently agreed deal over the media sector, saying it will not ensure balanced reporting during the early general elections. Read more.
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 1.5-million-strong diaspora is increasingly sending less money back home, but this underused resource could provide the country with expertise as well as investment to boost economic development. Read more.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina "is a very important country for Serbia," the President of the National Assembly of Serbia, Maja Gojkovic, said during a press conference on Monday after having visited the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

    "We believe that Bosnia is one of the key partners for Serbia... both countries want to speed up the dynamic of the high-level meetings between officials from both countries," Gojkovic said, noting that "there are no countries in the 21st century which don't have some open issues and we have today expressed the desire to solve them in the interest of both countries."

    Maja Gojkovic. Photo: BokicaK/Wikicommons. 

  • Bosnia’s border police arrested a 19-year-old Bosnian citizen on Saturday at Sarajevo’s international airport on accusations that he had organised a terrorist group, the police announced on Monday.

    The suspect, with the initials A. Dz, was detained after landing in the Bosnian capital on a flight coming from Istanbul, regional TV network N1 reported.

    Sarajevo international Airport. Photo:Micki/Wikicommons.  

  • Croatian NGOs gathered under the Platform 112 rights group, as well as liberal party Pametno (Clever), protested against the move by the country’s ‘technical' government to pass a decree that would enable it to prolong the term of the acting head of public broadcaster HRT, Sinisa Kovacic, for another month.

    The NGOs and the party claim that the government is breaching its authority to change laws for something that is not necessary for the everyday functioning of the executive branch.
  • Migrants who set off on a protest walk from the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Friday to the town of Horgos on the Hungarian border – a distance of some 200km – remain on a hunger strike they started that same day.

    The group of migrants says they are protesting to raise further awareness of the refugee crisis.

    Local media reports that some of the strikers are in poor condition and bad health as they have only been drinking water for the past three days.
  • Montenegro’s first-half foreign trade deficit widened by 15.7 per cent on the year to 829.4 million euros, the statistics office said on Monday.

    SeeNews reported that Montenegro’s exports increased by an annual 1 per cent to 145.8 million euros in January-June, while imports jumped 13.2 per cent to 975.1 million euros, the office said in a statement on its website.
  • A picture of the demolition of the Serdika building, one of the landmark old cinemas in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, has gone viral on social media on Monday with many Bulgarians sharing their memories of visiting the former state-owned cinema.

    Built in the centre of Sofia in Bulgaria’s communist era, the cinema was privatized along with ten others in 2001, with many people hoping it would be brought back to life. 

    Instead, most of Sofia’s former state-owned cinemas have shared a common destiny – being turned into supermarkets, abandoned or destroyed – and for the Serdika cinema, that means being replaced with a five-star hotel from the Hyatt chain, expected to open its doors in 2017.

    Sofia's Serdika Cinema was demolished on Sunday.  Photo: Stefan Valdobrev/Facebook

  • Top stories from the Balkans this Tuesday:
    • The Mayor of the Skopje Municipality of Centar, Andrej Zernovski, a known opponent of the government revamp of the city, is to testify on Tuesday before the Special Prosecution - which is investigating possible crimes related to the makeover. Read more.
    • The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party plans to revive its activities in Montenegro ahead of the October elections, promising a tough campaign against EU and NATO membership. Read more.
    • A number of experts say hopes that German-style vocational training in Serbia will bring down youth unemployment are misplaced. Read more.
    • A German bank loan of 50 million euros opens the way for the construction of 126km high voltage 400kV line from Elbasan in Albania to Bitola in Macedonia, designed to integrate the energy trade in the region. Read more.
  • PHOTO OF THE DAY: On this day in 1963, a devastating earthquake hit Skopje in which over 1,000 people were killed and 3,000 injured, while more than 200,000 residents of the Macedonian capital lost their homes.
    To commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the disaster on July 26, city officials and representatives of Macedonian institutions gathered to lay wreaths at a monument to the victims in Skopje.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

  • Macedonia's State Electoral Commission is displaying the names of over 39,000 registered voters who have until August 19 to confirm their data if they wish to stay on the electoral roll, which contains some 1.8 million names in total, for the upcoming snap elections.

    The move was agreed as part of the renewed EU/US-brokered political crisis deal between Macedonian parties as a way to additionally verify the electoral roll and purge it from ‘fictive’ voters that may be used for election rigging.

    Macedonian Electoral Commission. Photo by: MIA

  • A delegation of Jordanian businessmen began a working visit to Montenegro on Monday to look into chances for boosting joint commercial and investment cooperation, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

    On their first day, the delegates met with their counterpart private sector representatives and discussed ways to expand and diversify Jordanian exports to Montenegro. Amman Chamber of Commerce President Issa Murad urged Montenegrins to start joint investment projects in the Kingdom.
  • The 27-year-old Syrian who blew himself up in the German town of Ansbach had arrived in Bulgaria in 2013 and had been granted humanitarian protection, the head of the Bulgarian State Agency for the Refugees, Petya Petrova, confirmed on Tuesday after the German authorities announced on Monday that Daleel was due to be deported to Bulgaria.

    The attacker, named Mohammad Daleel, had spent half a year in Bulgaria until his asylum procedure was completed and after that he had managed to reach Germany in 2014.

    Petrova refused to reveal more details from his dossier of an asylum seeker as police investigation is ongoing, but explained to Nova TV that there have been no signs of his radicalization during the interviews he had in Bulgaria with the refugee agency and the security services.

    Daleel had declared loyalty to ISIS, and had warned that “Germany would not sleep peacefully anymore” in a video filmed prior to the attack, released by Amaq, the news agency of ISIS on Monday evening.

    Photo: Amaq 

  • One Bosnian worker has been killed and six others injured in an explosion that occurred in the Natorn Hayat paper factory in the central city of Maglaj at 7:50am on Tuesday morning, regional television network N1 reported, quoting sources from the interior ministry of the Zenica-Doboj Canton.
    by rodolfo.toe via null edited by emma.krstic 7/26/2016 9:20:13 AM
  • Since Monday evening firefighters have been trying to put out a fire that spread across the hills between the Croatian coastal city of Split and the nearby town of Omis.

    Firefighters are expecting to bring the fire, which was most likely caused by thunder, under control this morning.
  • The bodies of two of Munich attack victims have arrived in Kosovo, in their hometowns of Vushtrri and Podujevo. Their funerals are expected to happen today, early evening.

    Two youngsters, Dijamant Zabërgja(21) and Armela Segashi(14) were killed by a gunman in Munich on Friday.

    Photo: Kallxo.

  • The illicit payments totaling $80,000 that got Albania's now-PM an audience with Obama

  • Croatia's centre-left Social Democratic Party, SDP, is still the most popular party in the country with 29.2 per cent popularity, according to public opinion survey of 974 Croatian citizens conducted by private Nova TV in July.

    The party's traditional opponent, centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, closely followed with 28.3 per cent of the vote. 

    However, the results show that SDP has lost the comfortable lead it had when the same poll was conducted last month, in which the party had 30.9 per cent of the vote ahead of HDZ's then 21.5 per cent.
  • Vehicles travelling on the highway linking Albania's port city of Durres and the Kosovo capital, Pristina, will be charged 4.16 euro - without VAT - to cover the part of the journey on Albanian territory.

    Albania's transport ministry announced the tariff on Tuesday, which drivers will need to pay after the Turkish consortium gained the right to maintain the Albanian part of the highway.

    Albania-Kosovo highway. Photo: Wikimedia 
  • Lifting visa requirements for citizens of Kosovo and Bosnia travelling between the two countries is currently not the subject of any meeting between their governments, Igor Crnadak, the Bosnian Minister of Foreign Affairs, told Sarajevo-based news website Klix on Tuesday. 

    While Crnadak stated "there is an initiative to organise a meeting in Montenegro between experts coming from both countries", which he claims has been delayed by Kosovo authorities twice, he also noted that the planned talks will not deal with lifting visas between Kosovo and Bosnia, even if authorities from the two countries find alternative measures to facilitate the circulation of goods and services between the two countries.

    Igor Crnadak. Photo: Youtube. 

  • Some 100 #migrants are still on hunger strike on #Serbia border, demanding #Hungary raise asylum application quota

  • The Mayor of the Skopje Municipality of Centar, Andrej Zernovski, voiced his support of Macedonia's Special Prosecution after testifying before it on Tuesday in relation to its investigation into possible crimes related to the government revamp of the capital dubbed "Skopje 2014".

    “Finally, our probes are in real hands and we expect justice to be satisfied,” he said.
    In 2013, a municipal review commission, tasked by Zernovski with probing the finances of Skopje 2014, said that Centar, while led by the previous mayor, Vladimir Todorovic, made illegal public procurements worth at least 8 million euros, as well as other inconsistencies.

    Andrej Zernovski. Photo by: BIRN

  • Serbian Foreign Minister-designate Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday Serbia will send a protest note to Croatia over a rehabilitation of fascism in the country following the decision of a Zagreb court to annul the verdict against WWII Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.

    "Stepinac was the priest of the Ustasha movement, and he defended himself at the trial by silence," Dacic said, adding that he believes the European Union is ignoring events going on in Croatia.

    Croatia also sent its own protest note on the same day over what it claimed were unacceptable statements from Serbian officials after Stepinac’s conviction was cancelled.

  • Bulgarian police arrested 45 Serbian supporters of Belgrade’s Red Star Football Club at the Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach on Bulgaria’s coast on Tuesday for participating in acts of hooliganism, the Bulgarian prosecution announced.
    Local media reported that two policemen and two citizens were injured by football fans during their streak of violence.

    The arrests come ahead of tonight’s Champions League third qualifying match between Red Star and the Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad.
    by milivoje.pantovic via null edited by emma.krstic 7/26/2016 3:13:41 PM
  • Top stories from the Balkans this Wednesday:
    • Serbia's Prime Minister-Designate is having difficulty reconciling opposing pressures from both East and West to put their candidates in the new government, analysts and members of the old government say. Read more.
    • The head of Macedonia’s lustration commission said the Administrative Court had undermined its work by annulling most of the the commission’s actions. Read more.
    • Albania's current prime minister, Edi Rama, has held the most senior political roles in the country, yet he insists he is anything but a career politician. Read more.
  • After almost five hours of talks on Tuesday evening, the main political parties in Macedonia have aligned their differences on the planned changes to the country’s laws on government, media and elections, which were originally agreed in the EU/US-brokered renewed political crisis agreement on July 20.

    The agreement envisages a set of urgent reforms to be implemented before the country goes to snap polls – which, in late August, the political parties will set a date for - in an effort to overcome the deep political crisis.

    The representatives of the main ruling VMRO DPMNE and of the opposition Social Democrats, SDSM, Nikola Todorov and Radmila Sekerinska respectively, told media that the changes to the laws should pass in parliament by the end of this week.

    Macedonian parliament. Photo by: MIA

  • Bulgaria’s special prosecution has brought three Syrians to court on charges of terrorism after they were caught trying to cross illegally from Bulgaria to Turkey allegedly in order to join ISIS in Syria.

    According to the prosecutors, the three young men, who all had been granted asylum in Germany, were caught at the Bulgarian-Turkish border at the beginning of February and have been charged based on content found on their mobile phones and on analysis of their communications.

    The court case against the terror suspects is scheduled for August 2.

    Photo: Amaq 

  • Tomo Medved, the Croatian war veterans’ minister in the country’s now 'technical' government, said that the ministry is informing 43 veterans from the 1990s war that they were indicted for war crimes by Serbia in 2011, according to its law on war crimes prosecution that implements universal jurisdiction.

    Medved claims that the information regarding the indictments was sent to the ministry in 2011, but the veterans were not informed at the time, which he says was a mistake.
  • More than 200 Bosnian war veterans blocked three border crossings between Croatia and Bosnia for several hours on Wednesday as a protest against a decision of the parliament of Bosnia’s Federation entity to deny a resolution signed by veterans organisations to increase the rights of former soldiers of the 1992-95 war, Bosnian media reported.

    The president of the association of forgotten veterans of the Western Herzegovina Canton, Vlado Marusic, said they had also given Bosnian authorities an ultimatum to adopt the resolution by Monday or they would block all border crossing in the Federation entity, as well as traffic in the region and houses of some politicians, Sarajevo-based news website Klix reported. 

    The southern borders at Bijaca, Orahovlje and Crveni Grm remained blocked until around 1pm on Wednesday.

    Bosnian veterans blocking the highway in Bijaca on Wednesday. Photo: Anadolu. 

  • Bulgaria will take over its first EU presidency between January and June 2018 - six months earlier than it has been planned initially – Bulgaria’s minister of education and deputy premier in charge of coordination of the EU policies confirmed on Wednesday, after the Council of EU made the announcement late on Tuesday.

    Following the UK’s decision to relinquish the Council presidency in the second half of 2017 after it voted to leave the EU, the Council has decided to bring forward the order of presidencies by six months, starting from July 1, 2017.

    It has also decided to add Croatia, which was not yet a member state at the time of the original decision, for the period January-June 2020.

    The European Council in Brussels. Photo: Herman Van Rompuy/Twitter 

  • Bosnia’s Strike Group Against Terrorism had a meeting with the operative group coordinating police, intelligence and security agencies in the fight against terrorism on Wednesday, during which a resolution was approved stating that the operative group will officially start functioning as of the same day, regional TV network N1 reported.

    The meeting was held in the building of the Bosnian prosecution.

    The building of Bosnian State Prosecution. Photo: BIRN. 

  • Three bidders submitted their offers to buy Serbia’s Galenika pharmaceutical company on Wednesday, the Serbian Ministry of Finance and Economy announced.

    According to the ministry, bidders will be ranked not just on the amount of money they offer, but also on who will maintain the biggest number of existing employees.

    Galenika is one of the companies that need to be privatized by the government plan but is also one of the 24 problematic privatizations that, in 2011, the European Commission urged Serbia to investigate.
  • During his visit to Macedonia’s southern border with Greece on Wednesday, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said: "There are risk factors for terrorist attacks in the Balkans, including Macedonia."

    Ivanov stated that Macedonia has 86 returnees from the battlefronts in Syria and Iraq, and that while some are in custody, others are being closely monitored by the authorities. He added that it is hard to make arrests in some cases without having solid evidence.

    Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. Photo by: MIA

  • Top stories from the Balkans this Thursday:
    • Rights activists say Serbia's stricter policies towards refugees on the borders are creating fresh dilemmas that will be hard to address. Read more.
    • Bosniak representatives in the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska are calling on the High Representative to stop a referendum there on the entity's national holiday. Read more.
    • Zdravko Mamic, the influential football official, may have quit his posts in Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian Football Federation – but is likely to remain in the national spotlight for some time to come. Read more.
    • Facing strong international and budgetary pressure, Bosnia's entities resume privatising public companies, but finding buyers for the mostly decrepit and overvalued firms is increasingly difficult. Read more.
  • Miro Kovac, foreign minister in Croatia’s now 'technical' government, told the media on Wednesday evening that he has no "special knowledge" in relation to if Croatian weapons end up in the battlefields in Syria and Yemen, but promised to check up on the issue.

    Kovac's comment was motivated by an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, which revealed Croatia and seven other Central and Eastern European countries approved shipments of weapons worth at least 1.2 billion euros to Middle Eastern states and Turkey, which, in turn, funnelled arms to the battlefields in Syria and Yemen.

    Miro Kovac. Photo: BETAPHOTO/HINA/Daniel KASAP/MO 

  • Croatian special police arrested a 52-year-old tourist from Germany on Wednesday in the village of Kostanje near the coastal town of Omis, wanted for terrorism by Interpol.

    The man, who has Kurdish background, was taken to the county court in the coastal city of Split, where the judge, after questioning, has set bail at 50,000 euros.

    If he is extradited to Turkey, he will face trial there, where he risks a possible life sentence.
  • Cyprus-based CEAC Holding, owned by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, has lost an arbitration against Montenegro before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris, over the bankruptcy of the country’s aluminium smelter KAP, the Montenegrin economy ministry said in a statement.

    In 2014, CEAC filed a claim for 600 million euros against Montenegro with ICSID, saying that the decision of the country to declare KAP bankrupt in 2013 has violated the trade treaty protecting Cypriot investment in Montenegro. CEAC had a 65.43 per cent stake in KAP before the bankruptcy.
  • US Vice-President Joe Biden and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Serbia in August with prepearations already underway, according to Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti (Evening news).

    While Serbia's Prime Minister-designate Aleksandar Vucic has still did not formed a new cabinet, national media outlets report that it will happen before Biden and Medvedev visit.
    According to political analysts, Vucic is facing opposing pressure from the East and West over the new cabinet, with each pushing their own preferences for who should be in it.
  • A state of emergency has been declared in three central Bosnian municipalities of Vares, Ilijas and Zepce after extreme rainfall on Wednesday evening, the Civil Protection stated on Thursday. 

    Several neighbourhoods of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo were also flooded on Wednesday following the deluge, regional television network N1 reported.

    A street in Sarajevo on Wednesday evening. Photo: Anadolu. 

  • A delegation from the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action, SDA, chaired by the party's leader and the Bosniak member of the Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, will travel to Novi Pazar in southwest Serbia on Friday where a joint session of the coordination body of the SDA from across the whole of former Yugoslavia will be organised.

    During the session, which will be attended by Bosnian PM Denia Zvizdic among others, a declaration will be signed between members of the SDA and Bosniak parties in Montenegro, the SDA said in a press release on Thursday.

    Bakir Izetbegovic. Photo: Facebook. 

  • Bulgaria’s minister of energy Temenuzhka Petkova is meeting the management of the Russian state-owned nuclear energy giant Rosatom on Friday, the energy ministry announced on Thursday.

    During the meeting, current issues related to the cooperation in the field of nuclear energy between the two countries will be discussed, the ministry says.

    On June 16 an arbitrary court in Geneva ordered Bulgaria to pay over half a billion euros in compensation to Rosatom’s subsidiary Atomstroyexport for nuclear equipment the Russian company has produced for the cancelled Bulgarian nuclear power plant in Belene.

    Since the court’s decision, Bulgaria has been looking for a buyer for the produced nuclear reactors, but it would need the accord of the producer for such a deal.

    The unfinished nuclear power plant in Belene. Photo: Atomstroyexport

  • About thousand Macedonian Turks, Thursday evening celebrated in central Skopje the failed coup in Turkey, responding to the call of nearly-toppled Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Some participants expressed their support for Erdogan, chanting his name and carrying his pictures and Turkish flags.

    Turks celebrating in Skopje. Photo by: BIRN

  • Top stories from the Balkans this Friday:
    • Belgrade think tank says Balkan states must understand the reality of Islamic State’s appeal to Muslim women - if they want to stem to outflow of women there. Read more.
    • An overwhelming majority of Bulgarian MPs backed government-proposed anti-terror legislation on Thursday, despite protests by human rights groups and some MPs who fear it will curb civil liberties. Read more.
    • A Zagreb-based NGO has started an online letter calling for an apology to the Serb victims of the victorious 1995 'Operation Storm’, which terminated a Serb rebellion in the Krajina region. Read more.
    • Observers say the latest check-up of Macedonia’s electoral roll - agreed between the political parties ahead of snap polls due this autumn - will not remedy the many inconsistencies in it. Read more.
  • The next presidential elections in Bulgaria will be held on November 6, 2016, the Parliament decided on Friday.

    The MPs adopted the proposed date of the main party in government, Boyko Borissov’s GERB, while others put forward by opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms – who suggested October 23 and 30 respectively – were rejected. 

    The main parties are still yet to announce their candidates, but current president Rosen Plevneliev has declared that he will not run for a second mandate.

    Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has declared he would not run for a second mandate. Photo: Facebook 

  • A disagreement on the contract with Italy’s A2A for the management of power monopoly EPCG has destabilised Montenegro’s government and could lead to the resignation of ministers from the opposition, who joined the government under a recent power sharing deal, BNE portal reported.

    According to broadcaster RTCG, one of the three opposition parties that have joined the government - United Reform Action, URA – has threatened that will leave the government if the parliament approves the new contract with A2A. Another opposition party, the Social Democratic Party,  has also indicated it could cancel the agreement with the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists.

    Photo: EPCG.

  • The process of returning Albanians who sought economic asylum in Germany during 2014-2015 is continuing, the German embassy in Tirana said on Friday.

    In June alone, 820 Albanians were repatriated.

    Albanians sent home by Germany in 2015. Photo: BIRN/Ivana Dervishi 

  • On her Twitter account, Melania Trump said the website, created in 2012, was removed "because it does not accurately reflect my [her] current business and professional interests".

    Melania Trump. Photo: Flickr

  • The US ambassador to Tirana, Donald Lu, and the head of the EU delegation in Tirana, Romana Vlahutin, have started their meeting with Albania's political leaders, in which they will push for seven new laws to be passed by the end of August, which would complete the country's much-needed judicial reform.

    Albania's parliament unanimously adopted constitutional changes that open the way for the judicial reform package to be  implemented, but Western diplomats do not want any delay in amending the laws that support the reform.

    Lu and Vlahutin on the plenary session where the reform has passed. Photo: LSA/Malton Dibra 
  • Bosnia’s Federal Institute for Pensions and Disability Insurance obtained a loan of 63.7 million Bosnian marks (around 32 million euros) to cover the payment of pensions in Bosnia’s Federation entity, Sarajevo-based website Klix reported on Friday, although it was not disclosed from who the loan has been granted. 

    "We still need the approval of the Federal Minister of Finance [in order to take out the loan], but we expect to obtain it and to have this short term loan until December 31," Zijad Krnjic, the director of the Federal Institute, told Klix, arguing that the purpose of the loan is to help the payment of pensions in due time. 

    "In the current situation it is very unfair for pensioners to see the payment of their pensions delayed for two or three weeks," Krnjic said, explaining why the loan is required.

    Illustration: Pixabay. 

  • #Migrants refusing food & shelter on #Serbia's border with #Hungary agree to end six-day protest: report

  • Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation allowed the registration of the new ethnic-Turkish dominated party on Friday, called the Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance, or DOST [meaning friend in Turkish].

    The Supreme Court annulled the decision of the Sofia City Court to refuse to register DOST, which was founded at beginning of the year by Luytvi Mestan – the ousted former leader of the other ethnic-Turkish party in Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, MRF.

    Earlier in July, the Sofia City Court blocked DOST’s registration with the motives that it is an “ethnic” party and that there no guarantees that it can fulfill the aims declared in its statute.

    DOST's leader Lyutvi Mestan. Photo: Facebook 

  • The State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided on July 28 to abolish all the restrictive measures that were imposed on former Bosnian commander, Naser Oric, who is currently on trial for war crimes, Oric's lawyer, Lejla Covic, confirmed to Sarajevo-based news website Klix on Friday. 

    Oric's freedom of movement had initially been restricted to the Sarajevo Canton and Zenica-Doboj, before having been widened to the territory of the Bosnia’s Federation entity.

    Naser Oric at the Hague Tribunal. Photo: ICTY. 

  • Continuing intimidation and violence against journalists is unacceptable and could further weaken media freedom and freedom of expression in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, said on Friday.

    “I am following with great concern the extremely worrying situation in the country which could lead to self-censorship,” Mijatovic said. “People engaged in investigative reporting and expressing different opinions, even provocative ones, should play a legitimate part in a healthy debate and their voices should not be restricted.
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