29 October 1997

Alert

Serbian journalist threatened with death


Incident details

Gordana Igric

journalist(s)

threatened


(CPJ/IFEX) - Gordana Igric, a prominent Serbian freelance
journalist, has been forced into hiding by a series of death
threats against her for a recent report broadcast on the U.S.
television station CBS about indicted war criminals at large in
the Bosnian town of Foce. Igric began receiving threatening phone
calls at her Belgrade apartment after Serbian, Bosnian and
European media broadcast excerpts of her conversation in a Foce
cafe with Janko Janjic, a Bosnian Serb soldier known as "Tuta"
and wanted for rape, that aired on the CBS program "Public Eye
with Bryant Gumbel" on 15 October 1997. On hidden camera, Janjic
told Igric and CBS News producer Randall Joyce that for 5,000 DM
(about US$ 2,800) he would describe how he killed and raped
hundreds of Bosnian Muslims in Foce. He boasted no fear of being
caught by NATO soldiers, who were shown sitting in an adjacent
restaurant.




The telephone calls that Igric received at home shortly after
independent local and foreign media throughout Serbia and Bosnia
broadcast excerpts of her interview featured the sounds of
gunfire and the ticking of a time bomb. The journalist, who is
writing a book about war crimes in Foce, hid in another location
outside Belgrade. However, the threatening telephone calls
continued to plague her in her hiding place, forcing her to move
again with her two children.


Igric received death threats for her reporting on war criminals
in Foce once before. One of her articles, which the "Sunday
Times" and Bosnian Federation newspapers reprinted in July 1996,
prompted threatening phone calls. She had not returned to Foce
until August 1997 to continue her investigations.


Recommended Action


Send appeals to authorities:

  • expressing alarm at these threats of violence against Gordana
    Igric for practising her profession
  • indicating that the fact that these threatening calls have
    followed her even in hiding lead many to believe that their
    perpetrators have access to wiretaps and that she remains under
    close surveillance by people sympathetic to indicted war
    criminals
  • further indicating that these circumstances violate all
    international norms of freedom of expression and privacy rights,
    as well as provisions on press freedom within the Dayton Peace
    Accords
  • urging them to investigate and punish those responsible for the
    death threats against Igric and to do their utmost to ensure her
    safety




    Appeals To



    His Excellency Slobodan Milosevic
    President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    Fax: +381-11-656-862


    Momcilo Krajisnik
    Bosnian Serb Representative to
    the Collective Bosnian Presidency
    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
    USA
    info (@) cpj.org
    Fax:+1 212 4659568
    Serbia

    IFEX members working in this country 1

     
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