Croatia: HRT management to dismiss journalists and reform Ethical Council
The European Federation of Journalists together with its affiliate from Croatia, the Croatian Association of Journalists (CJA), have expressed their concerns over threats by the acting general manager of Croatian public broadcaster, HRT, Siniša Kovačić to dismiss journalist Sanja Mikleušević Pavić. Kovačić also initiated another dismissal procedure against Mirna Zidarić, president of HRT Ethical Council.
The CJA has criticised the unprofessional behaviour of the acting HRT management, which had been confirmed by the joint International mission to Croatia in June , to which the EFJ participated.
On September 23, the HRT Ethical Council agreed that Sanja Mikleušević Pavić, who is president of CJA Branch at HRT, is not guilty of any ”verbal offence” that was critical of the management of HRT. Thus, the dismissal is unjustified.
The EFJ is also informed and worried about the changes planned for the end of September on HRT Ethical Council. According to the proposal, the new Ethical Council would allow the replacement of its current members.
“We are afraid that the threat to dismiss Sanja Mikleušević Pavić, a strong and responsible leader of the CJA Branch at the Croatian public service broadcaster HRT, will put pressure on the CJA and all critical journalists working for HRT,” said EFJ President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregard.
“Political intimidation and control shall have no place in any independent media regulatory body or Ethical Council in Europe,” added Blicher Bjerregard.