Freedom of expression violations in Croatia

The Human Rights House Foundation, Georgian Human Rights Centre and the Human Rights House in the Republic of Croatia are concerned about the continuous oppression of the freedom of expression in the Croatian media, especially its public services. This is a second Croatian human rights activists’ alert in the year 2009; unfortunately, there was no proper response or elicited activity on the part of the Government or the Croatian Parliament.

Hrvatsko novinarsko društvo – Croatian Journalists’ Association
Fax: +385 1 482 8332
E-mail: hnd@hnd.hr

Vlada Republike Hrvatske
Fax: +385 1 6303 023
E-mail: predsjednica@vlada.hr 

Hrvatski sabor – Parliament of Croatia
Fax: +385 1 63 03 018
E-mail: sabor@sabor.hr 

Odbor za informiranje, informatizaciju i medije – Committee for information, informatization and media
President: Stazić, Nenad
Fax: +385 1 45 69 789
E-mail: odbor.informiranje@sabor.hr

The Human Rights House Foundation, Georgian Human Rights Centre and the Human Rights House in Croatia are concerned about the continuous oppression of the freedom of expression in the Croatian media, especially its public services. This is a second Croatian human rights activists’ alert in the year 2009; unfortunately, there was no proper response or elicited activity on the part of the Government or the Croatian Parliament.  

This time an eminent and brave editor lost her position and her show together with all the members of her investigative team. On 13 November 2009, editor in chief of the Croatian Public Television Hloverka Novak Srzić sanctioned and replaced Ana Jelinić, who was the editor of one of the best shows dossier.hr, due to a story on corruption and organized crime in Croatia that was prepared and broadcasted by the dossier team. The story on corruption was an interview with the author of a soon to be published book on corruption and organized crime in Croatia and several investigative journalists who elaborate clues that might lead to very influential politicians.  

Hloverka Novak Srzić’s justification of the sanction executed on editor Ana Jelinić was that it had been unprofessionally edited since, in her opinion, no story on corruption should be presented to the audience without concrete proof of committed crimes.     

Croatia is, unfortunately, internationally known for its omnipresent and undisturbed corruptive practices that involve high level politicians, media owners, businesses and institutions. Although every annual Progress report published by the EC repeatedly highlights this issue, no true effort or political will to conduct counter action has been witnessed so far.  

On the contrary, whistlers, human rights activists and journalists who try to expose criminal activities and actors get fired, are degraded, receive threats or are even severely beaten.  

Therefore, we urge the Croatian Journalists’ Association to find means to protect its members and the Croatian Government and the Croatian Parliament to ensure freedom of expression in the country. 

Sincerely, 

Human Rights House Foundation (Norway) 

Human Rights House Zagreb (on behalf of):
–          B.a.B.e.
–          Centre for Peace Studies
–          Civic Committee for Human Rights
–          Documenta – dealing  with the past
–          UPIM – Equal Opportunities
–          Svitanje  – mental health      

Human Rights Centre (Georgia)

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