Protesting Journalist Attacker Released Pending Charges

A woman who assaulted reporters during a protest in Sarajevo this week was released pending charges, the police in the Bosnian capital said according to the media.

Two reporters sustained injuries on Thursday when a group of protesting war veterans turned on them, demanding they stop taking pictures of the ongoing protest. The veterans of the mainly Bosniak and Bosnian Croat forces that fought in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war were protesting in Sarajevo, demanding a law that would grant them higher veteran benefits.

According to the photos and eyewitness accounts, a reporter of the Klix news website was confronted by a woman protester who demanded he gives her the camera.

“When I said no (…) a dozen veterans surrounded me and started hitting me,” the reporter said.

A reporter from Al Jazeera network stepped in.

“I saw they were holding (the Klix reporter) by his neck. (…) I reacted and managed to pull him out. At some point, a woman came with a metal club and tried to hit the photographer. I blocked her and she gave up after a while,” he said.

The main board of Bosnia’s self-regulation body for print and internet media, the Press Council, condemned the attack and the subsequent phone threats to the Klix newsroom.

“The proof that yesterday’s attack was not a coincidence in the rush of the emotionally charged situation at the protest, but a deliberate act towards physically preventing reporters from reporting, is today’s audio recording of more verbal threats that should intimidate reporters, delivered on the phone to the Klix newsroom by one of the protesters,” the Press Council said.

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