Montenegro journalists say photos erased, dictaphone seized
SEEMO criticises NGO head’s alleged actions during confrontation
VIENNA, Sept 4, 2013 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), today expressed concern about an NGO director’s reported actions towards the staff of a newspaper in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica.
Representatives of the Podgorica-based daily Vijesti told SEEMO that Vladimir Beba Popovic, head of the Public Policy Institute, yesterday cursed at reporter Miodrag Babovic and photographer Luka Zekovic, took Zekovic’s camera and deleted photos, and then took Babovic’s dictaphone.
The reported incident happened at noon in Podgorica as Zekovic was photographing Popovic in front of a building on Sveti Petar Cetinjski Street.
Vijesti, in an article posted to its website today, reported that Popovic disputed the journalists’ specific account of the incident and that he said he would seek charges for invasion of privacy.
SEEMO said that Popovic – who is the former chief of the Office for Information in the government of the late Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, and who has often been featured in media reports since leaving the post – is a public person and therefore “must accept that his activities are interesting for journalists and photo reporters, and that a newspaper should have the right to take photos of him in a public place”.