VIENNA, 20 July 2012 – Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today strongly condemned the brutal beating of Štefica Galić, editor-in chief of the webportal tačno.net.
Galić was attacked late at night on 18 July in Ljubuški, a small town in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when returning home. The journalist suffered injuries and had to be treated in a health centre.
“This attack against Galić is absolutely unacceptable and should be condemned in the strongest terms by not only official bodies, but the society as a whole,” Mijatović said.
Galić, together with her late husband Nedjeljko Galić, is known for her humanitarian engagement during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when they helped hundreds of Bosniak citizens to leave Ljubuški. At the beginning of this week a documentary film on their activities premiered in Ljubuški. The screening was met with angry protests; media reported that the attacker was among the protesters.
“I am particularly worried about the reaction by the police, who consider this incident ‘a minor disturbance of public order’ rather than a severe attack on freedom of speech and the safety of a journalist. Given the recent violent history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, public officials should rather be alarmed by the display of such hatred and intolerance,” Mijatović said.
Mijatović called upon the authorities to swiftly investigate the case and to provide full protection to the editor and her family.