27 May 2020 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 27 May 2020 n° 61/2020 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Journalist Vanja Stokić Received Death Threat

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 22 May 2020, Vanja Stokić, editor-in-chief of the E-trafika news portal received a message on her Facebook profile stating that the sender would "decapitate" not only migrants, but also “all you soul caregivers who welcome them.”

Stokić received the message after having published a photograph depicting her with two migrants on her profile, as she was covering a story on migration. She tried to report the threats to the Banja Luka police straight away, but was told to come back on 25 May 2020 - three days after the threats were made. Stokić said the same person repeated the threats and even left his phone number so she could pass it to the police.

"The policewoman on duty asked me why I came literally 'just for that'. Then she called the inspector and told me to come on Monday, then I would be received by an inspector who does not normally deal with that, but that the case will be forwarded to someone. I don't feel safe, I'm afraid, and they would wait two days to take my statement", says Stokić.

Additional threats and harassment messages were sent to Stokić and her friends. After a strong public reaction, the perpetrator was finally detained on 24 May 2020. He was released after questioning by the police and a report was filed with the prosecutor's office.

SafeJournalists.net partner, BH Journalists, strongly condemned the conduct of police officers and called for a swift investigation into this case.
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