Finland’s press is the freest in the world, Eritrea’s the most restricted. Croatia drops down the rankings, according to a report in The Independent on April 23, 2016.
The World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters without Borders, has Croatia placed 63 out of 180 countries in the world, down five places from the corresponding report in 2015. Croatia falls under the category of countries ‘with noticeable problems’.
“Journalists investigating corruption, organized crime or war crimes are often subjected to harassment campaigns. Defamation is criminalized and insulting “the Republic, its emblem, its national hymn or flag” is punishable by up to three years in prison. Worse still, “humiliating” media content has been criminalized since 2013. The following year, Slavica Lukic became the first journalist to be accused of this crime. And why? Because she wrote that the medical company Medikol was heavily in debt despite major state subsidies.”
“Hasanbegovic said he deplored “attacks on all citizens” but went on to lecture Tomic and implicitly blame him for the attack by urging him to weigh “the importance of responsibility for words spoken or written in public.”
“It was the second time in three years that Tomic has been the target of a physical attack.
“We find it disturbing that a government minister publicly justifies violence against a journalist,” RSF editor-in-chief Aude Rossigneux said. “No piece of writing, no matter how irritating, can justify a physical attack against a reporter or media outlet. Freedom of expression is not limited to the freedom to reassure or please readers.”
“RSF is concerned about the overall situation of the media in Croatia, where journalists are often the victims of harassment or violence, and where defamation, “humiliating” comments, and insulting “the Republic, its emblem, its anthem or its flag” are criminalized.”