HND Demands End to Intimidation of Journalists

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 1, 2018 – After HND leader Hrvoje Zovko’s dismissal from the Croatian national broadcaster (HTR) at short notice, the HND association of journalists in Croatia on Monday sent an appeal to several national and international institutions asking them to show support to Zovko and to help stop “the intimidation, censorship and arbitrariness which the HRT Board carries out in this public company, directly destroying professional journalism.”

The appeal, signed by HND Vice-Presidents Slavica Lukić and Denis Romac, reads that the HND, the acronym of which in English is CJA, considers “that due to the circumstances of the dismissal of the CJA President and the alarming situation at HRT, an urgent public response is an utmost requirement to prevent the evident collapse of the profession of journalism, and in this we ask for your help.”

The appeal was forwarded to the national parliament, the government, the Ministry of Culture, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the European Federation of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, as well as to embassies of EU member-states and embassies of some other countries, including Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA.

The statement reads that “Zovko has been dismissed for pointing out censorship and the inability to carry out his work responsibly and professionally.”

“Rather than taking into serious consideration the content of Zovko’s resignation as editor-in-chief, in which he warned of censorship, HRT’s leadership went into retaliation directed at CJA, whose branch present on HRT had previously repeatedly pointed to irregularities and violations of professional journalistic standards.”

The appeal also reads that “resigning, Hrvoje Zovko verbally clashed with his superior, Katarina Periša Čakarun, HRT’s Information Media Service manager. The public television service used the conflict with Zovko’s superior to impose an unjustifiably severe measure of extraordinary dismissal, deciding to completely ignore his right to express the opposite opinion. This is a practice inherent in authoritarian regimes, which democratic societies cannot and should not tolerate.”

The appeal also reads that Zovko, who was on public television for 21 years, during which he never received an oral or written admonishment about his work, “tried to fight for maintaining professional standards of journalism in his own workplace and was ‘rewarded’ by sanction for verbal delict.”


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