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Outspoken Serbian Journalist Beaten, Hospitalized


Serbia - Teofil Pancic, Serbian journalist

Serbia - Teofil Pancic, Serbian journalist

(Prague, Czech Republic) A Serbian journalist and RFE/RL contributor known for his strong stance against nationalism and sports hooliganism was attacked on Saturday night in Belgrade.

Teofil Pancic, a reporter for the weekly news magazine "Vreme" and columnist for RFE/RL's Balkan Service, was beaten late on July 24 by unknown assailants while riding a bus.

"We are shocked by the violence and barbarity of this attack on one of the country's most respected journalists," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement today.

Police said they were looking for two assailants who fled the scene after leaving a metal bar at a bus stop.

Pancic was hospitalized with a concussion and injuries to his arm but has since been released. He said the attack "was no robbery, but a personally targeted assault."

"During the beating, it was clear that I was specifically targeted. I think I was being followed before I got on the bus."

RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin calls Pancic a "trusted colleague who has been a fixture on the Serbian political scene for more than a decade."

"We hope local authorities will investigate this attack swiftly and thoroughly," he said.

About RFE/RL's Balkan service
RFE/RL's Balkan Service broadcasts in five languages to six countries - Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Croatia. It has five bureaus, 188 affiliate stations, and broadcasts via radio, television, satellite radio, and the Internet(www.slobodnaevropa.org, www.evropaelire.org, www.makdenes.org).

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