Hundreds protest against gun attack on Montenegro journalist

Podgorica (Montenegro) (AFP) –


Several hundred people protested in Podgorica Wednesday, a day after an investigative journalist reporting on organised crime in Montenegro was shot and injured.

Olivera Lakic, 49, was shot in her right leg on Tuesday evening when an unknown attacker opened fire in front of her home. "Her life is not in danger", police said.

"We are not optimists regarding the probe," Zeljko Ivanovic, manager of the daily Vijesti, where Lakic works, told the crowd that gathered in front of the government headquarters and included journalists and NGO activists.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic demanded a "fast and efficient" investigation.

Many of the dozen or so assaults against journalists or media organisations in the small Balkan country over the last 15 years, including the 2004 murder of editor Dusko Jovanovic, remain unsolved.

Tuesday's shooting follows the car-bomb killing of 53-year-old Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia last year and the slaying of Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak, who was shot dead in February.

Montenegro, home to 650,000 people, hopes to join the European Union by 2025 and has been under growing pressure to deal with the issue of organised crime and media freedom.

Out of 180 countries, Montenegro is ranked 103rd on the 2018 press freedom list of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). According to RSF, the major challenges the country faces are "self-censorship and (the) safety of journalists."