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Serbia-Montenegro / kosovo27 September 2004

Investigative journalist injured in shooting

Reporters Without Borders today called for a thorough probe into a shooting on 23 September in central Kosovo in which Fatmire Terdeci, an investigative journalist with the Albanian-language daily Koha Ditore, was injured.

"We expect the Serbian and Kosovar authorities and the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) to do everything possible to identify and punish those responsible for this attack," the organisation said.

Reporters Without Borders said it was essential to know if the shooting was linked to Terdeci’s work as journalist. "If it is, it will pose a threat to all journalists in Kosovo who are investigating sensitive issues such as corruption and organised crime."

Terdeci, aged 30 and seven months pregnant, was travelling with several other people in a vehicle belonging to the humanitarian NGO Caritas near the central town of Glogova when they came under fire from unidentified gunmen in another vehicle and one of the shots hit her in the shoulder.

She was hospitalised in Pristina where doctors said her injuries were not critical, either for herself or the child.

Terdeci is known for her reports about corruption and organised crime. She told Reporters Without Borders she did not know why they were fired on, but she ruled out the possibility that Caritas was targeted because the NGO is very popular in the region.

"On the other hand, I don’t rule out the possibility that it was linked to the coming elections [legislative elections on 23 October], or that it just a mistake. But deep down, I cannot help thinking that it may have been because of my articles," Terdeci added, acknowledging that she has received threats in the past.

Koha Ditore editor Agron Bajrami told Reporters Without Borders he did not know whether the shooting was linked to Terdeci’s investigations. "Fatmire Terdeci is an investigative journalists who is well known for her articles on very sensitive subjects. She has tackled so many sensitive subjects that it is hard to pinpoint one in particular that might have been the reason for this attack."




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