Croatia: Court rejects charges for death threats against journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) in condemning the decision of District State Attorney of Split to reject criminal charges for death threats on Facebook against journalists of Index. The rejection of charges raises concerns on protection of journalists against intimidation and harassment in Croatia, which by all means should be secured for journalists to be able to continue their work. The court decision was announced after a complaint made by Index journalists against a former veteran, who left a comment on the Facebook page of the news site, stating “these Index journalists should be…

Hrvoje Bajlo @ CJA

Croatian journalist Hrvoje Bajlo physically assaulted in Zadar

UPDATE 27.07.2018 An indictment was brought against the attacker of journalist Hrvoje Bajlo, former footballer Jakov Surać by the Zadar district attorney. Jakov Surać was accused of causing severe physical injuries and death threatening, considered to be crimes against life and body, and against freedom of a person by the court. The indictment also states that the attack was connected to the journalist’s work. —————————– Croatian journalist Hrvoje Bajlo was attacked on 24th of June at a parking lot in town of Zadar by a former NK Zadar football player and businessman Jakov Surać. Physical assault was preceded by insults directed towards work of Bajlo, followed by threats to…

Croatia: hate speech on the rise but hope for change

In January 2018 an international delegation of press freedom organisation representatives visited Zagreb for the second time in two years to observe the state of media freedom in Croatia. Now, the report is out, and these are the recommendations. After a joint mission of media freedom organisations in June 2016 produced particularly bad results, a new delegation, consisting of representatives of the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (represented by Marijana Camovic, member of the EFJ Steering Committee)…

International media freedom delegation in Croatia: some improvements, old and new issues

On January 15 and 16, 2018, an international delegation of press freedom organisation representatives visited Zagreb to observe the state of media freedom in Croatia. This was the second such visit in two years. After the fact-finding mission in June 2016 produced particularly bad results (please find here the report), the representatives of the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Reporters without Borders (RSF) did find a slightly more positive situation at the…

EFJ issues alert as Croatian reporter receives death threat

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has released an alert to the Council of Europe, concerning a death threat against Croatian reporter Maja Sever. Sever is a journalist from the Croatian Television (HRT, public media service), and received a threat on October 29 via Facebook in response to her story about Nigerian refugees. The private Facebook message was racially charged, stating that “if you want to live with N***ers, go live in England, France or USA, but do not promote that Freemason’s multicultural politics in Croatia”. The aggressor also called Sever a “whore” and a “Yugoslav – mason whore”, according…

Physical attack against journalist Drago Miljuš

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Croatian Journalists Association (CJA) and the Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety in strongly condemning the physical attack of Index.hr portal journalist Drago Miljuš by the members of the Split police department. The journalist was standing at the public facility, outside police lines covering the police intervention at the Obojena svijetlost beach in Split (Croatia).  The intervention was related to a suicide bomber who, unfortunately, came through with his intention. One of the policemen present started driving Miljus off, first verbally and then by pushing him away. The…

Croatia: Far-right militants burned Novosti newspaper during protest

On 19 September 2017, the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have submitted the following case on the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism: On 2 September 2017, members of the far-right Autochthonous Croatian Party of Right (A-HSP) gathered in front of weekly Novosti’s office in central Zagreb and burned a copy of the magazine, which is published by the Serb National Council in Croatia. According to the Western Balkans Regional Platform for Advocacy of Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety, A-HSP accused Novosti journalists of spreading hate against Croatians and called on the Croatian government to…

Attacks and pressures on journalists in Slavonski Brod (Croatia), Skopje (Macedonia) and Partes (Kosovo)

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is joining the call of the Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety in condemning the attacks and pressures on journalists, which happened in the last few days in Slavonski Brod (Croatia), Skopje (Macedonia) and Partes (Kosovo) : On Wednesday, August 23, journalists Visnja Ruzojcic from HRT and Aleksandra Primorac from the portal SBplus were physically attacked in Slavonski Brod. According to the reports of the SBplus portal, the journalists Primorac and Ruzojcic reported on the shooting, which happened during the previous night and in which one citizen was seriously injured.…

Croatia: Journalist Mladen Mirković brutally attacked by Požega mayor

The Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety(*) expressed its deepest concerns following the physical attack on May 12 against Croatian journalist Mladen Mirković in the town of Požega. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs its six affiliates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia, in calling on the authorities to swiftly investigate the case. The assaillant was Požega mayor Vedran Neferović. According to Mirković, the attack happened after the mayor invited him for a meeting at his office. He wanted to know who had written some articles published on the website the journalist is working for, 034portal.hr In a…

Croatia: Freedom of speech and rights of minorities under attack

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs its Croatian affiliate, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA), in denouncing the attack against freedom of speech and the rights of ethnic minorities in Croatia. On February 13, the nongovernmental organisation “In the Name of the Family” (U ime obitelji) held a press conference asking for disqualifying the weekly magazine Novosti published by the Serb National Council. On the same day, it sent to the government a document titled “Report on the Abuse of State Budget Funds for the Serbian National Minority”, in which it calls for the criminal prosecution of Novosti’s journalists, editors…

An indictment issued for hate crime following threats to CJA president Saša Leković

On 19 January, an indictment has been issued for hate crime against Ivan Goluban, arrested since November 2016, following threats by text message to CJA president Saša Leković. Goluban has been detained following his arrestation as the judge considered that he could potentially repeat the harassment against Leković. He is facing up to 5 years in jail. In October 2016, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounced the increase of hate speech and direct threats towards journalists in Croatia in an article explaining how Saša Leković escaped a serious road accident after his car appeared to have been tempered with.…

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