European rights organizations have condemned the beating of a Montenegrin journalist near her home in the capital, Podgorica.
In statements, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute, welcomed police assurances that an investigation will be carried out into the attack on Olivera Lakic, who wrote for the Montenegrin daily, "Vijesti."
The groups also noted that the assault was not the first targeting the Montenegrin daily "Vijesti."
Lakic was reportedly struck on the head several times in the attack late on March 7 near her home in the Montenegrin capital. She was hospitalized overnight and released the next day.
Mihaljo Jovovic, the newspaper's editor-in-chief, told RFE/RL's Balkan service, "This is yet another and dangerous blow at the normalcy and security of the citizens of this country in which, it seams, people can no longer honestly do their job without being attacked in front of the homes."
Jovovic added, "In my opinion, the greatest problem is that therre are people in senior positions in government who regard attacks on journalists who criticize the government and write on mafia not as attacks on the state but as attacks on the enemies of the state," Jovovic said.
Lakic authored a series of articles in 2011 alleging fraud in connection with the production of phony branded cigarettes at a Montenegrin tobacco factory. She has received previous threats in response to her journalism.
Reported by DPA, local media and RFE/RL's Balkan service.