Reporter held for twelve days in Bosnia
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA–Reporter David Rohde became a prisoner of the war he was covering for the Christian Science Monitor when he was held by the Bosnian Serbs for twelve days before being released in early November.
Rohde was the first Western journalist to report on mass killings of Muslims in eastern Bosnia in July, according to Associated Press reports.
The AP reports said Rohde sent his editors a computer message on Saturday, October 28 detailing his plans to go to the Bosnian Serb territory the next day. On Monday, October 30 one of Rohde’s colleagues contacted the newspaper, worried because Rohde had not returned.
On Thursday, November 2, a United Nations spokesman announced that Rohde was alive and being held by the Serbs. Two days later, the Bosnian Serb news agency said Rohde was detained in Zvornik for illegally crossing the border. Zvornik is on the Bosnian Serb side of the Drina River.
Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, sent a message to the Monitor on November 8 stating that Rohde would be released as “a sign of goodwill and a contribution to the peace talks,” which were underway in Dayton, Ohio.
AP reported that Rohde was tried and convicted of illegal entry into Bosnian Serb territory and of falsifying documents but Karadzic cleared the journalist of all charges. The Bosnian Serbs issue passes to journalists on their territory and require members of the press to hold the passes.
After Rohde was released he told the AP that he was treated well physically while being held.