30 September 1997


Bomb explosion at offices of "Alternativa" newspaper

Incident details


(CPJ/IFEX) - An explosion in the late evening of 27 September
1997 destroyed the editorial offices of "Alternativa", the only
alternative newspaper in the Bosnian Serb town of Doboj. Although
no one was injured by the blast, the newspaper's offices were
destroyed and several adjacent apartments were damaged. A fire
broke out and threatened to spread to neighbouring buildings.
Local authorities have not yet identified the cause of the

The blast was the second attack in a month on "Alternativa",
which is owned and edited by Milovan Stankovic, a retired Bosnian
Serb army colonel and a supporter of President Biljana Plavsic in
her political conflict with rival ultra-nationalist leaders in
Pale. The explosion has been interpreted as a sign that the power
struggle between President Plavsic, who is supported by the West,
and indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic has been renewed
despite recent agreements between them to share control of
television broadcasts.

On 28 August, the offices of "Alternativa" were sprayed with
bullets by an unidentified gunman with an automatic weapon. The
assailant also threw a hand grenade into the newspaper's offices.
The local headquarters of the Socialist Party, which is tied to
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's socialists in Serbia,
were also attacked the same day. Stankovic, who is a board member
of the party, accused Karadzic's backers in Pale of initiating
the attacks.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • condemning these terrorist actions against "Alternativa"
  • indicating that such violent attempts to silence the sole
    alternative provider of news in Doboj violates all international
    norms, as well as the provisions for press freedoms in the Dayton
  • further indicating that, as a signatory of the Dayton Peace
    Agreement, they are obligated to guarantee the rights of
    journalists and media outlets to practise freely and safely their
    profession and ensure a diversity of views in the media

    Appeals To

    Momcilo Krajisnik
    Serb Entity, Bosnia Herzegovina
    Fax: +387-71-472-49

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Committee to Protect Journalists
    330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    info (@) cpj.org
    Fax:+1 212 4659568
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
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