The Office of the High Representative strongly condemns the attack on BN TV journalist Vladimir Kovačević, which occurred on Sunday in Banja Luka. The OHR urges RS institutions to conduct an impartial, prompt, and thorough investigation into this act of violence in order to bring the perpetrators to justice, and should inform the public about their findings accordingly.
The RS political and institutional leaders have a responsibility to create an atmosphere conducive to independent and professional work of the media, without political interference or violence.
Violence against anyone, including journalists, cannot be tolerated in any democratic society. Journalists have the right to work without fear. The society as a whole is judged by the environment they are working in.
This brutal attack against Mr Kovačević is the latest in a series of attacks on media representatives throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such acts are a direct result of politicians’ irresponsible rhetoric which creates tensions and taints the public discourse in the country, and – in the long run – cannot go on without consequences.