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VOA Kosovo Freelance Journalist Beaten, Threatened


Reporter tells VOA she will continue to work; crime is under investigation

Washington, D.C., October 17, 2007 – A longtime Voice of America (VOA) freelance reporter was beaten and threatened in her home in Kosovo early Tuesday morning in retaliation for her reporting. The journalist, Vesna Bojicic, has vowed to keep reporting despite the threats.

"We are very concerned for her welfare," said VOA Director Danforth W. Austin. "Ms. Bojicic has been a reliable, thorough reporter for us for seven years. It is deplorable that journalists face these kinds of dangers."

Ms. Bojicic described her attacker as dressed in camouflage attire and wearing military-style boots and a ski mask. After pushing his way in to her apartment, he began beating her, while verbally assaulting and threatening her, alluding to her reporting for VOA.

VOA's freelance reporters, or stringers, follow the same journalistic standards of accuracy, objectivity, and balance as all VOA staff reporters.

"I have been doing my job professionally; in my reports there has never been any bias in favor of or against any side," said Bojicic in an interview with VOA today. "I will report on events in Kosovo until the last day, regardless of what Kosovo minority or Kosovo majority think, regardless of what Serbs or Albanians think. I'll do my job."

The crime against Vesna Bojicic is under investigation.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, please call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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