May 9, 2018 / 9:41 AM / 5 months ago

Montenegrin journalist shot and injured, police says

BELGRADE (Reuters) - A Montenegrin investigative reporter who writes about organized crime in the small Adriatic country was shot and wounded late on Tuesday in the capital, Podgorica, police said.

A man poses for the media with banners reading "Stop violence" and "For a life without fear" during a protest in Podgorica, Montenegro May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Stevo Vasiljevic

An assailant fired one shot at Olivera Lakic, who works for the local newspaper Vijesti, and wounded her in her right leg as she was about to enter her apartment building in Podgorica, police chief Vesko Damjanovic told reporters.

She remained in hospital in a stable condition. “Her life is not in danger,” Damjanovic said.

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The attack was the second on Lakic since 2012, when she was beaten, also in front of her home. A perpetrator was sentenced to nine months in jail, but released early as part of an amnesty.

Lakic’s editor, Mihajlo Jovovic, spoke with Lakic in the hospital, and said she saw the attacker and two other men fleeing the scene.

The incident prompted calls from the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United States, demanding better protection of journalists in the former Yugoslav republic.

“There must be no impunity. Ensuring the safety of journalists is key to the future of democracy in Montenegro,” said Harlem Desir, OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media.

There have been around a dozen attacks against journalists and media organizations in the last 15 years, including the 2004 assassination of Dusko Jovanovic, a newspaper editor.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; editing by Larry King

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