Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is seen on April 4, 2018. A reporter's camera was recently damaged by a security guard while he was reporting in the town of Šikulje. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

Security guard damages journalist's camera in Bosnia and Herzegovina

May 23, 2019 3:40 PM ET

On May 14, 2019, in Šikulje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a private security guard damaged the camera of Ademir Mešanović, a cameraman working for local public broadcaster RTV TK, according to a report by the broadcaster.

The guard grabbed Mešanović's camera and threw it in the mud, damaging the camera and preventing Mešanović from continuing his reporting, while the journalist was documenting the eviction of families from their properties near the state-owned Kreka coal mine, RTV TK reported.

The guard worked for a private company hired by the Bosnia and Herzegovina national mining authority to carry out the evictions, a representative of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Journalists Association, an independent advocacy organization, told CPJ via email.

A security guard told Mešanović that there was "no need" for the journalist to film there because local authorities would issue an official statement about the evictions, and that journalists were banned from the area, according to the journalists association representative.

Osman Bleković, the director of the Kreka mining company, apologized for the attack in a letter sent to the journalists association and RTV TK, which CPJ reviewed.

Local police have started an investigation into the incident, a representative from SafeJournalists.net, a regional press freedom organization, told CPJ via email.

CPJ emailed questions to the Federal Ministry of Energy, Mining, and Industry, which oversees the mining authority, and to the press department of the federal police in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but did not receive any reply.

Editor's Note: This text has been updated in the first paragraph to correct the spelling of Šikulje.

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