Olivera Lakic, an investigative reporter with Montenegro’s only independent daily Vijesti, was attacked when she opened the door of her apartment building on the evening of 7 March 2012. Ms Lakic was hospitalized after an unidentified man hit her several times on the head.
This was not the first time that Ms Lakic has been targeted. In February 2011, Ms Lakic and her family received threats after she reported on the illegal labelling of tobacco products. Two men are currently on trial for making threats.
Vijesti and its staff, with whom MDLF has worked for more than a decade, have been subjected to threats and violence many times for their reporting activities, though most of these cases remain unsolved. These include:
- In July and August 2011, four cars clearly marked as belonging to Vijesti were set on fire in three separate attacks.
- In September 2010, Zeljko Ivanovic, one of Vijesti’s founders, and several other journalists received death threats by mail.
- In August 2009, Mihailo Jovovic, editor of Vijesti, and Boris Pejovic, a photojournalist, were physically attacked by the mayor of Podgorica and his son while documenting their alleged illegal parking in town. The mayor’s son threatened the journalist with a gun, and Mr Jovovic was treated in hospital for a head injury.
- In September 2007, Mr Ivanovic was attacked by men with metal bars when he left a celebration for Vijesti’s 10th anniversary.
The US and German Ambassadors to Montenegro issued a joint statement condemning the attack, as did the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.