Croatia: New abusive lawsuits hit journalists and media outlets

Journalists and media in Croatia are targeted by new legal threats, warned the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and Union (SNH) with five lawsuits filed against Telegram.hr portal. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns the widespread practices in the country, also known as SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), whose objectives are to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with court proceedings. Last month, judge Zvonko Vrban, president of Osijek County Court, filed five lawsuits against the Telegram.hr portal for five articles written by journalist Drago Hedl about irregularities in the judge’s work. Vrban announced that damages…

Croatia: Prime Minister Plenković attacked media after local elections

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Croatia, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND), in condemning the latest verbal attacks and accusations by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković towards media and journalists after the local elections on 30 May. Shortly after the second round of local elections in Croatia last Sunday, the Prime Minister once again attacked the media, accusing them of “being paid to vilify a political camp” and of deliberately and repeatedly misnaming the HDZ’s candidate for Zagreb mayor, Davor Filipović, in debates in the first election round. Plenković also accused the media of being “mercenaries who disgust one’s…