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Media Watchdog Condemns Threats Against Bosnian Journalist

Bosnian journalist Avdo Avdic (file photo)
Bosnian journalist Avdo Avdic (file photo)

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina to investigate threats made against journalist Avdo Avdic, who has written about cases of alleged money laundering and international drug cartels.

"These threats made against journalist Avdo Avdic are extremely chilling, and authorities must take them seriously," Gulnoza Said, the New York-based group's Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said on October 29.

"Threatening a reporter because of his coverage is completely unacceptable, and Bosnia-Herzegovina authorities must take every possible measure to ensure the safety of Avdic and his family," she added.

CPJ said Avdic, a reporter for the investigative website Zurnal, received a threatening video after he reported about alleged links between Sarajevo businessmen and drug trafficking.

The video, which CPJ says it has reviewed, featured a man who Avdic has alleged in his reporting to be connected with a drug cartel.

CPJ said the man threatened in the video that an unnamed journalist "will be searched for in the canals," and also "makes an obscene reference to the journalist's children."

Avdic claims the man messaged him directly on October 23, confirming he was the unnamed journalist in his video, CPJ said.

CPJ said it repeatedly tried to contact the man it identified in the video but received no answer.

On October 25, a representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation In Europe (OSCE) also condemned the threats against Avdic.

"It is of utmost importance that the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina investigate this case without any delay," said Harlem Desir, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media.

"Journalists must be able to do their investigative work without fearing for their lives. Those who utter such threats must face the harshest justice. This is necessary to protect the safety of journalists," the OSCE representative added.

With reporting by The Sarajevo Times and N1
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