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Serbia10 May 2007

Eight ex-paramilitaries arrested for grenade attack on journalist’s home

Reporters Without Borders voiced its support for reporter Dejan Anastasijevic of the weekly Vreme after the police yesterday arrested eight former paramilitaries on suspicion of participating in a grenade attack on his Belgrade home on 14 April.

“We hope the detained men are the ones responsible setting off a grenade outside a window of Anastasijevic’s home,” the press freedom organisation said. “It is vital that the authorities continue to demonstrate their determination to quickly identify and punish those responsible for attacks on journalists and their families.”

Those detained were members of the Scorpions, a special unit implicated in the deaths of Muslim civilians in Srebrenica in July 1995. A couple of days before the grenade attack on his home, in which no one was hurt, Anastasijevic had said the prison sentences imposed on four ex-Scorpions on 10 April were “too lax.”

Grenade explodes in front of journalist’s house

Reporters Without Borders condemned a hand-grenade attack early today on the Belgrade home of journalist Dejan Anastasijevic, who covers war crimes and underworld activity for the independent weekly paper Vreme. The journalist and his wife, who were sleeping in the house, were not hurt but windows were smashed and cars parked outside were damaged.

“He and his family could have been harmed,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “We trust those responsible will be found so he can continue to work as a journalist in safety." Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica deplored the attack and ordered a police investigation.

Anastasijevic, who was a prosecution witness at the international trial in The Hague of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, had received threats before the bomb attack.

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