Several hundred people have demonstrated today in front of the Montenegrin parliament building, in Podgorica, in the aftermath of the shooting of a journalist who has written about organised crime in the Adriatic country.
Olivera Lakic, a journalist for the Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti, was wounded in the right leg outside her home in the capital, Podgorica. Lakic was taken to a hospital with non life threatening injuries.
Police said the attack happened around 9 p.m. A search for the attackers is underway, including stepped up controls throughout the city and a review of surveillance cameras in the area, police said.
Vijesti’s chief editor, Mihailo Jovovic, said Lakic told him a man approached her and shot her in the leg, while two other men ran away.
Carrying banners reading “Stop Violence,” and “For A Life Without Fear,” the protesters demanded authorities find the assailants who shot the journalist.
According to Vijesti, this is not the first time that Lakic has been targeted for her work exposing crime and corruption in Montenegro.
“In early 2011 she investigated whether fake cigarette brands were being manufactured, stored, and smuggled from the Tara factory in Mojkovac and its storage facility in Donja Gorica. Her articles stated that officials of the police and of the Agency for National Security were connected to this illegal business. Since February 2011, she has been the target of harassment and threats, and in March 2012, she was beaten in the same location where she has been wounded. Although Ivan Buskovic has been found guilty for assaulting Lakic, the motive of the attack and those who ordered it have never been discovered,” Zeljko Ivanovic, the editor of Vijesti, said.
According to Ivanovic, there have been a total of 25 attacks on the journalists and offices of the newspaper, which is known for its independent and critical journalism.
“[The government] created an atmosphere in which there are state enemies and traitors,” said Ivanovic. “Can this society survive without a single free media, journalist, or intellectual?
Prime Minister Dusko Markovic called for a “clear and effective” investigation.