SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Two people have been arrested after a group of soccer fans broke into a radio station's offices in Sarajevo and forced its staff to withdraw a news item, Bosnian police said Saturday.
The two face charges of threatening the safety and limiting the freedom of Radio Sarajevo's online journalists and editors during the incident late Friday.
The station said hooligans broke into its offices while angry over the news that a fan of soccer club Sarajevo received five years in prison in Belarus for cocaine possession. They threatened the staff and their families.
The station described the incident as "an actual hostage situation." Faced with death threats, the editor was forced to remove the news item, its statement added.
The incident has sparked widespread condemnation in Sarajevo, the capital of the Balkan country which is still struggling to overcome the consequences of a devastating war in the 1990s.
The U.S. Embassy said on Twitter that "this outrageous attack ... is unacceptable."
The embassy added that "when journalists are silenced, society suffers."
Denis Zvizdic, the chairman of Bosnia's Council of Ministers — the de facto government — said "such acts are a threat to democracy and present an unacceptable attack on free journalism."
Bosnia remains ethnically divided and economically weak long after the 1992-95 conflict ended. More than 100,000 people died in the war.