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Montenegro: Two of leading daily’s cars torched in deliberate attack

An arson attack was carried out on two cars owned by the independent daily Vijesti in the early hours of July 14 in Podgorica. Unidentified individuals dowsed the two parked cars with gasoline before setting them alight and fleeing. The cars were clearly marked with the newspaper’s colours, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said.

“We firmly condemn this latest attack on Vijesti, which clearly was not random,” RSF said. “Aside from the material damage and resulting financial loss, this attack constitutes another warning to the newspaper’s staff, which is unfortunately used to such incidents. Vijesti often has to adopt special measures to protect its journalists and other employees against this type of violence.

“We support the newspaper’s demand for a thorough investigation that is not abandoned before it is completed. The investigators must not stop at the perpetrators. The instigators of this act of intimidation and their motives must also be clearly established. By using such violence against Montenegro’s leading daily, they are sending a very clear signal to all of the country’s journalists with the probable aim of getting them to reinforce the already significant level of self-censorship.”

RSF is worried about the worsening situation in Montenegro, in which constant judicial harassment of the media has now been compounded by a resumption of violence. The authorities must act before there are tragic consequences. The government has a chance to show that its professed commitment to media freedom is real and effective.

Date posted: July 15, 2011 Last modified: May 12, 2018 Total views: 181