Number: 138-02/14

Date: 14.04.2014

 

ADJUDICATION

 

of the Complaints Commission

of the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina

on the complaint of Ms. Nana Pilavic about the article “Death due to the Blockade - In the Midst of the Protests: The ambulance could not make it to the Child… His mother carried him running, but she did not make it on Time” published on the portal cik.ba on 19.03.2014



COMPLAINT UPHELD

 

The Press Code of BiH was breached

 

Article 7 - Opportunity to Reply

Article 15 - Complaints

 

The Complaints Commission of the Press Council in BiH upheld Ms. Nana Pilavic’s complaint, being that the complainant’s denial was not published, what she was entitled t according to Article 7 -  Opportunity to Reply, and Article 15 - Complaints, of the Press Code of BiH.

 

Member of the Working Group for Protests and Thematic Group for Education of the Plenum, turned to the Press Council in BiH and the editorial staff of the portal cik.ba with a request for the publication of the denial to the article “Death due to the Blockade - In the Midst of the Protests: The ambulance could not make it to the Child… His mother carried him running, but she did not make it on Time”, published on the portal cik.ba on 19.03.2014. Amongst other things, the article states that “the horrific tragedy occurred in Sarajevo on March 5th of this year, the day before last of the one month traffic blockade in the capital due to the protests.”

 

The following was also published: “…a one-year old child in Sarajevo died because of suffocation, after swallowing a rubber ball. However, as we came to find, the ambulance vehicle, while on the way to the house of the unfortunate family, was stopped due to the traffic blockade, so the doctors and the parents of the child ran towards each other in a dramatic attempt of saving the child’s life. And in spite of the super human efforts of the doctors, as we come to find, the tragedy could not be prevented. According to the official police report, traffic in the capitol on that day was blocked until 18h, and this drama unfolded exactly at that time.”

 

In her denial, Ms. Pilavic states: “On that day, the 5th of March, I was too was amongst the organizers. It was raining. The day before, a civilian vehicle hit a protester (Almir Redzic, March 4th, fractured elbow); so on that occasion we used containers for the blockade to avoid such an incident. However, one container (towards the KCUS) was intentionally moved farther away from the others in order for the ambulance to be able to pass. We also warned the taxi drivers, who joined us that day in the blockade, not to block the passage towards the KCUS and the General Hospital “Prim. dr. Abdulah Nakas”, and to leave space in every lane for the ambulance, which was respected. On that day, a few ambulance vehicles approached, and all of them passed by us within 2 seconds.”    

 

The Complainant also states the following: “I remember that one monitor, Almir Serifovic, ran towards that one containers to move it to the other side when the ambulance approached, he ran like crazy, even though the ambulance did not have its sirens or rotation lights turned on (I am alluding to Almir’s consciousness, we know well what an ambulance means and we know well what illness and accidents mean, and we have more understanding for such things than our people in government; someone correct me if I am wrong). I remember that a civilian vehicle approached (around 14:30) from the direction of Krancevica street, the vehicle was crawling down the street, and we blocked it. The guy driving got out of the vehicle and said that he was driving a sick child and that his car was shutting off. We let him through instantly and helped him push the car so it could start, and he passed regularly.”     

 

In accordance with the complaints procedure, the Press Council in BiH turned to the editorial staff of the portal cik.ba, but they did not reply, nor was Ms. Pilavic’s denial published.

 

The Complaints Commission of the Press Council in BiH, on its session held on 14.04.2014, considered Ms. Nana Pilavic’s complaint, the article “Death due to the Blockade - In the Midst of the Protests: The ambulance could not make it to the Child… His mother carried him running, but she did not make it on Time” from 19.03.2014 and found breach of the Press Code of BiH.

 

The Complaints Commission finds that the failure to publish the complainant’s denial breaches Article 7 - Opportunity to Reply, and Article 15 - Complaints, of the Press Code of BiH.

 

Article 7 - Opportunity to Reply, of the Press Code of BiH: The right to reply shall be extended to relevant persons if the editor determines that such a step contributes to accuracy and impartiality. If at all possible, the opportunity for an immediate response shall be made available in the same edition of the publication as the one containing the accusation and/or incorrect information, not exceeding the originally published article in length.

 

Article 15 – Complaints, of the Press Code of BiH: Print and online media shall, in an appropriate place, contain: the name, address, telephone number, fax number, the internet/e-mail address and contacts of the responsible publisher and editor, to whom complaints regarding the writing of print and online media can be addressed. Complainants, claiming that this Code was breached by certain reporting, shall address the publisher or editor responsible for the print or online edition in question, with a denial not longer than the original article.”

 

Members of the Complaints Commission: Chair, Prof. Miodrag Zivanovic PhD; Judge Nada Arsenic; Doc. Enes Osmancevic PhD; Editor Fuad Kovacevic; Attorney Drazen Zubak; Journalist Muhamed Jusic, Prof. Zlatiborka Popov Momcinovic PhD and Journalist Milan Sutalo. 

 

Chair of the Complaints Commission

Prof. Miodrag Zivanovic PhD

Cik.ba