A broken cheek for Ivanovic

The attack took place earlier this month as I was leaving a restaurant having been celebrating the 10th anniversary of Vijesti.


Three men, carrying metal cudgels and baseball bats, attacked me close to where I had parked my car.

One of the attackers wore a mask, which suggests to me that he was a local, while the other two had their faces uncovered, which indicates that they probably came from the neighbouring countries.

It is known that in these types of attacks, the masked man would shoot if there were any unexpected witnesses.

The attackers beat me, and my entire body was covered in blows. One of my cheekbones was broken during the assault.

After a few minutes, the assailants calmly left and I managed to find my way back into the restaurant and was taken to the  clinical centre.

As in many previous cases, indications are that the real perpetrators of the crime, and their superiors, will never be found or identified. Instead, a few small criminals will probably be used as scapegoats.

The attack could have been in response to the articles I have written criticising the authorities, and for the overall editorial policy of Vijesti, which has become a place where criticism of the anomalies in Montenegrin society and Montenegrin politics are published.

[[Vijesti]] is not controlled by the government, and this could also be a motivat for the attack. It could also be a warning to me, and all other free intellectuals, to watch our steps in the future.

Another possible reason is my intention, along with two other founders of Vijesti, Dr Miodrag Petrovic and Slavoljub Šcekic, to set up an independent TV channel.

Recently I took part in a lobby, along with 20 Montenegrin intellectuals, calling for the withdrawal of the ILH (International League of Humanists) award for humanism to [[Milo Ðukanovic]], former prime minister d president, and to [[Svetozar Marovic]], the final president of Serbia and Montenegro.

During that action, the ruling DPS ([[Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro]]) and Djukanovic, publicly attacked those who signed the letter in a way that has not been seen in Montenegrin politics since the early 90s.

DPS statements concerning me and the other intellectuals were considered, by many, to be a call for action to be taken against us.

The attack has been condemned by numerous organisations from [[Montenegro]] and abroad as not only an attack on freedom of expression but also an attack on media freedom, which is a precondition for development of democratic society.

Some of the intellectuals defending me and condemning the violence against me have also been the target of attacks from the ruling party.

The attack has important political implications and has created international interest.

The police need to be objective and the judiciary clear in dealing with this case in a fair, open and transparent manner in order to ensure that those who carried out the attack are brought to justice, no matter who they are.

Failure to do so threatens the working of the media and the democratic process.


[important color=green title=Zlejko Ivanovic]The author, ŽJeljko Ivanovic, is the director for editorial policy for Vijesti, an independent daily newspaper in Montenegro. The attack he is writing about took place at 3.50am on Saturday, 1 September, when he was leaving a celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of Vijesti. [/important]

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