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Montenegro10 June 2008

Sports journalist beaten unconscious by unseen intruders

Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the violence of an attack on sports journalist Mladen Stojovic, who was beaten unconscious by unseen intruders in his parents’ apartment in the town of Bar on 23 May. Stojovic, who writes for two dailies, Danas and Vijesti, had recently talked about betting fraud and organised crime’s involvement in football during a TV interview.

The circumstances of the attack are a mystery. Stojovic lost consciousness after being hit on the head and had no idea what had happened when he came to and was rushed to a public hospital in Bar. The police said they examined the apartment and found no traces of a break-in or theft.

Doctors said he sustained two fractures to the jaw and a deep wound to the left cheek that was probably caused by a steel object. He also sustained wounds to the cheekbones and multiple bruising to the head and body. He was taken to a hospital in Podgorica the next day for an operation to his face and jaw injuries.

In a recent appearance in the programme “Insajder” on Serb TV station B92, Stojovic made allegations about fraud in sport betting and organised crime’s domination of football in Serbia and Montenegro, and named several well-known persons who are still influential in the sporting world.

He asked the police for protection on 27 May but his request has not yet been granted.

“We are shocked by the violence of this attack on Stojovic and we urge the authorities to use all possible means to identity the perpetrators and masterminds,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The absence of any sign of a break-in or theft proves that Stojovic was the target. The police should seriously investigate the possibility that the attack was linked to his work as a journalist.”

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