Attack on Journalist and Humanitarian in Bosnia and Herzegovina

As prepared for delivery by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 26, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States wishes to express its deep concern about another violent attack on a journalist in the OSCE region, this time against Stefica Galic, the editor-in-chief of web portal, in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 18.

Ms. Galic was beaten while returning home late at night in the town of Ljubuski and suffered injuries requiring medical treatment.  The attack took place only two days after a local screening of a documentary film relating the activities of Ms. Galic and her late husband, Nedjelko Galic, during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The couple helped Muslim families escape the town and avoid being sent to a concentration camp.  Local groups opposed to the film, primarily war veterans, tried to prevent its screening and the film’s producer also received threats.

The attack against Ms. Galic followed numerous threats against her and her family, possibly by radical nationalists.  The United States joins the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, in condemning the assault against this journalist and human rights advocate.  We call upon authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to investigate the incident thoroughly, prosecute those responsible, and provide whatever protection may be necessary for those involved in the film.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.