Serbia-Montenegro14 September 2005
Journalist brutally beaten
Reporters Without Borders called for better protection for journalists under threat after Vladimir Mitric of the daily Vecernje Novosti was brutally beaten by an unknown attacker close to his home in Loznica, southeast of Belgrade on 12 September 2005.
“This cowardly assault shows just how dangerous it still is for a journalist to work on sensitive issues in Serbia-Montenegro,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
“We call on interior minister Dragan Jocic to take the steps needed to protect journalists who feel they are at risk,” it added.
Mitric had nearly reached his home late in the evening when he was attacked from behind and hit with a blunt instrument. He fell to the ground screaming but his attacker continued to rain blows on him until neighbours, who were alerted by the journalist’s shouts, came to his rescue. His assailant fled.
He suffered a broken bone in the hand and was very badly bruised. He is now out of hospital.
Mitric had been threatened on three previous occasions. At first the police accepted that his life was in danger, but one officer later suggested that he change jobs, since “journalism has always been a dangerous profession”. Since the assault he has been put under police protection.
Mitric has said he believed the attack was linked to articles he had written about criminal cases.
Another journalist with Vecernje Novosti, Milan Pantic, was beaten to death outside his home on 11 June 2001.