(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 2 February 2010 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly condemns the threat made by the Serbian Orthodox priest Bogdan Simanic against the Serbian journalist Aleksandra Delic, a correspondent for the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti.
Delic was threatened on 1 February 2010 by Simanic over her critical reporting about the owners of Glas Podrinja. Simanic, who is a co-owner of the Serbian weekly, posed the threat by telephone when talking to another journalist, and said, translated into English: "You can tell her I will break her legs when I see her! She will remember who Priest Bogdan is."
SEEMO Secretary-General Oliver Vujovic said: "SEEMO strongly condemns the threat against Delic. As the Church plays an important role in moral development within society, SEEMO urges the Serbian Orthodox Priest Bogdan Simanic, as a Church representative and moreover as a co-owner of a weekly himself, to respect freedom of expression and opinion, and not to threaten journalists for exercising their right to freedom of speech." Vujovic added: "It is essential that journalists are able to report freely and without fear of intimidation or harassment so that they can carry out the vital activity of informing the public."