Journalists assaulted by capital's mayor, son and bodyguard
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||7 August 2009|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Journalists assaulted by capital's mayor, son and bodyguard, 7 August 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a7fdcbac.html [accessed 25 May 2016]|
Reporters Without Borders condemns a physical attack on Mihailo Jovovic, the editor of the daily Vijesti, and photographer Boris Pejovic on 5 August in Podgorica by the city's mayor, Miomir Mugosa, his son Miljan and one of his bodyguards.
Pejovic was hit by the mayor's son, sustaining an injury to the face, as he was photographing the mayor getting into a badly-parked car outside a café owned by the son. Jovovic was attacked and beaten, sustaining bruises and a cut to the ear, when he tried to prevent the mayor from hitting Pejovic.
"We are surprised by this violent behaviour, which is incompatible with a public office," Reporters Without Borders said. "By acting in this manner, the mayor is encouraging others to think violence against the press if legitimate. If he really thought he was being followed or threatened, as he claims, he should have alerted the police, who could have intervened and reassured him that the two men were journalists."
The press freedom organisation added: "As a mayor, Mugosa is a government official and journalists must be able to follow his movements in public without being exposed to any form of violence. We welcome the fact that the police are investigating the actions of the mayor's son but we think the mayor's conduct should also be investigated."
In a press release yesterday, the mayor denied deliberately attacking the two journalists and said he thought he was being followed by two men seen hiding behind bushes. Claiming he felt he was being attacked and therefore had a right to defend himself, he said he stood by his actions.