“Are you familiar with the name of Dino Jahić?”
(Someone in the room asks: “What does that name mean?”)
“To me – it means a lot.”
These are the words of Milorad Dodik, president of the Republic of Srpska, who attacked Dino Jahić, Editor-in-Chief of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) at the press conference held on 21 August, accusing him of managing the centre which ravages political structures in the region using money from international organizations.
Dodik did not provide a single piece of evidence for his statement, also failing to explain what the name and surname of the CINS editor means to him.
CINS believes Dodik directly jeopardized safety of Jahić, other newsroom members, and their families in this manner, stating incorrect information and putting them in a wrong context. It is absolutely inacceptable and harassing that a person performing public function uses fabrications to win cheap political points and divert attention from truly important matters, such as spending citizens’ money, and property belonging to officials.
It was politicians’ property that was one of the topics of the conference – already covered for years by our colleagues from the Sarajevo Center for Investigative Journalism (CIN). We extend full support to our colleagues in their work on the database on property and revealing of facts of importance for citizens.
Dodik’s press conference was held following a campaign on several portals which had started on the same morning. The text entitled “Dirty affairs of Soros’s instructor” stated a range of untrue facts on CINS and Jahić, such as that he is the instructor to Hungarian students against Hungarian president Viktor Orban and that he disposes with funds at the amount of $38 million USD.
The text first appeared at the portal Infosrpska.ba, but was taken over by the more influential Radio Televizija Republike Srpske, entity news agency SRNA, and Banja Luka-based Alternativna televizija.
It is shameful and very detrimental that media outlets, especially those financed from taxpayers’ money, use this manner to label individuals and turn them into targets.
In agreement with lawyers, CINS and Jahić will take all necessary legal actions. We shall also address all relevant domestic and international institutions and organizations.
We shall continue to investigate politicians, officials, businessmen, and individuals close to authorities, whether their name is Milorad Dodik, Aleksandar Vučić, Dragan Đilas, Emir Kusturica, Nikola Petrović, or whatever, with arguments and evidence, and in observance of all rules of the profession, whenever there is a reason for that.