EFJ Appeals to Croatian Authorities to Stop “Stifling” Journalists

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 5, 2020 – The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has sent an appeal to Croatian authorities expressing concern over a court dispute against the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) that went on for more than 25 years, HND has reported.

EFJ notes that it is aware that a court case between the bankrupt UTT Europa 92 company and HND has been ongoing for more than 25 years and that the company sued HND in 1993 seeking damages for an investment in leased premises in the Journalists’ House in Zagreb, which was already adjourned in the early phases of the trial.

HND lost the case in June 2018 and was ordered to pay an amount of HRK 2.5 million. HND underscored that the judgement is allegedly founded on forged documents, particularly with regard to invoices that were to prove UTT’s alleged investments. Apart from that, the company’s founder and bankruptcy creditor were convicted pending appeal for perjury, EFJ notes.

HND adds that that evidence, but also the repeated attempt to access HND’s assets, leads to the assumption that the aim of the suits is to harass HND and to financially stifle it.

The situation is particularly concerning considering that the confiscation of HND’s assets would result in the association being shut down, a press release said.

EFJ hence calls on Croatian authorities to invest every effort to stop the harassment of HND and to investigate the unscrupulous conduct behind this case.

We hope that HND will soon be able to do continue its important role in protecting journalism and media freedom without fearing for its existence, EFJ concluded in its appeal.

The appeal signed by EFJ secretary-general Ricardo Gutierrez was sent to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, President Zoran Milanović, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković, Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the Supreme Court, the parliamentary Committee on Information, Computerisation and the Media, and the human rights ombudswoman.

More news about journalism in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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