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SEEMO - Founded 2000 - Defending Press Freedom in South, East and Central Europe


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Press freedom 2010

SEEMO Press Release: Political Party Places Reporting Ban on TV Channel in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vienna, 8 October 2010
The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South and East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly condemns the ban imposed by a political party on Alternativna Televizija (Alternative TV - ATV) - which is now unable to access and report on the election locations of Aquana and Banski Dvor in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

According to information received by SEEMO, on 3 October 2010, during elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ATV received a memo signed by a representative of the political party Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (Savez Nezavisnih Socijaldemokrata - SNSD) prohibiting ATV from accessing and even reporting from the election locations. 

SEEMO is very concerned about this ban, especially since the SNSD party is led by Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska (Serbian entity) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

A week before the memo was received, on 24 September 2010, during a general meeting with journalists at the Prime Minister's office in Banja Luka, ATV journalist Vladimir Kovacevic was allegedly insulted and called a liar by Prime Minister Milorad Dodik after he posed a question regarding progress on the building of a highway between Banja Luka and Gradiska. 

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: "SEEMO is alarmed at the fact that a high level political representative such as the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, together with his ruling party, has on several occasions within a short timeframe exerted pressure on ATV. Preventing journalists from reporting on matters in the public interest is a serious press freedom violation, as journalists have the right to work freely and enjoy unrestricted access to all information concerning matters of public interest."

Vujovic added: "SEEMO calls on the local officials of the political parties in Banja Luka to express any dissatisfaction with journalists in other, democratic ways instead of blocking communication. All media should be treated equally. It is very important that government representatives recognise the principles of press freedom by allowing critical reporting. SEEMO urges the Prime Minister to change his behaviour in communicating with the media, and to accept that diversity and critical reporting are a foundation of democratic development in any society."
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The South East Europe Media Organisation * Südosteuropäische Medienorganisation * Медијска организација Југоисточне Европе * Medijska organizacija Jugoistočne Europe
Medijska organizacija Jugoistočne Evrope * Organizata mediale e Evropës Juglindore * Medijska organizacija za Jugovzhodno Evropo
Медиумската организација на југоисточна Европа * Organizzazione dei Media del Sud-Est Europa *
l’Organisation des médias du Sud Est de l’Europe
Délkelet-európai Médiaszervezet * Organizácia médií juhovýchodnej Európy * Organizace medií jihovýchodní Evropy * Kaakkois-Euroopan maiden mediajarjesto
Медийна организация за югоизточна Европа * Media Organisatie voor Zuid Oost Europa * Organización de Medios de Comunicación del Sureste Europeo
Dimosiografikos Organismos Notioanatolikis Evropis (Δημοσιογραφικός Οργανισμός Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης) * Медиа Организация Юго-Восточной Европы
Медiа Органiзацiя Пiвденно-Схiдно Європи * Organizacja Medii Poludniowo-Wschodniej Europy * Cənubi-Şərqi Avropa üzrə Media Təşkilatının
Den sydøsteuropæiske medieorganisation * ארגון המדיה הדרום-מזרח אירופי * दक्षिण पूर्वी यूरोप मीडिया संगठन * Güneydoğu Avrupa Medya Örgütü
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