Gordana Knezevic

When Kemal Kurspahic was injured while fleeing snipers, Gordana Knezevic, the deputy editor-in-chief of Oslobodjenje, took over. Printed at night under battlefield conditions and distributed at dawn, the independent newspaper chronicled the fighting and provided a manual for civilian survival. It became a source of information and a symbol of defiance in a city of 400,000 trapped, hungry and embattled people. For Knezevic, life in Sarajevo became intolerable. Each day there was increasingly less food for her son and she missed her daughter who was living with friends in Croatia. She said, “I could not let my children suffer because of my political beliefs.” Knezevic had been political reporter and editor in the Daily Oslobodjenje since 1980, and was permanent correspondent of Oslobodjenje in Cairo from 1987 to 1991. Since the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she was one of the most active writers-editors-organizers in Oslobodjenje, and struggled to keep the survival of the paper and free journalism. In 1996, Knezevic moved with her family to Canada, where she later was the target of protests by Serbs because of an article she wrote supporting the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia.

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