Kosovo: TV crew from northern town assaulted near Pristina

A crew from TV Most, a broadcaster based in Zvecan, northern Kosovo, was attacked on Tuesday as they were reporting from the town of Obilic, near Pristina.

Source: Beta

The broadcaster said that "a younger" ethnic Albanian man first attacked journalist Jasmina Stojkovic, cameraman Boban Sekulic, and driver Aleksandar Sotlic verbally, and then physically.

Stojkovic said that the man approached and started "cursing, shouting, and insulting" them, saying that "their place is in Belgrade" and that they should "get out, go to Serbia."

"Then he took a shovel from a nearby store, swung it at the cameraman, and hit him on the arm," she recounted the incident.

Beta agency is reporting that Stojkovic said the attacker was "probably reacting to the Belgrade number plates" on the broadcaster's vehicle.

"A large group of Albanians was watching all this without reacting. The crew called the police that arrived after about ten minutes, even though the police station is in the immediate vicinity of the location where the attack took place," she said.

The attacker fled the scene after the incident, while the TV Most crew were taken to the police station in order to give their statements.

"Hunting season"

Director of the Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric said that Wednesday's attack on the TV Most crew was "an attack on Serbs, and freedom of speech."

According to Tanjug, he also "voiced his expectation that the event would be condemned by Albanian journalist associations, provincial institutions and the international community."

"It is crucial for this condemnation to arrive from both the province's institutions and Albanian journalist associations, and from representatives of the international community, who should not be awarding any new praise or opening any new doors of international organizations to Pristina as that means awarding the sociopolitical climate in which hunting season on Serbs is always open," Djuric told a press conference in Belgrade.

Djuric said that the television crew had narrowly escaped lynching, as they had a car with Belgrade license plates and spoke Serbian. He added that at the time of the attack, the crew was filming a news report on an allocation of humanitarian aid to the Branko Radicevic school in Obilic, a Serb school in a town ethnically cleansed of Serbs.

"It bothered a small group of extremists who attacked them. One of them even attacked a TV Most cameraman with a shovel. All of that was happening only 50 meters away from the local police station," said Djuric.

Djuric said he would inform a team of representatives of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, who were in Belgrade at the moment to talk about the expert level dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, about the latest attack on Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

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