ZAGREB, September 4, 2018 – The head of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND), Hrvoje Zovko has drawn attention to the worrying absence of condemnations by senior state officials of attacks and threats against journalists.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Zovko said that the HND had registered 18 cases of physical attack and 30 cases of threat against journalists since 2014, adding that these figures were actually much higher because journalists often did not report threats.
“There is an obvious increase in violence and threats against journalists, but the competent authorities agree to be accomplices in this by keeping silent and failing to take action,” Zovko said.
He said that the statement from President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović’s office in response to a recent death threat to journalists at the Index.hr website was worrying because it treated the threat as “an expression of discontent” on the part of the reader.
The vice-president of the HND Executive Committee Denis Romac said that threats against journalists had become frequent in comments on social media and news websites. “Open threats have become self-explanatory, so that almost no one pays attention to them anymore, which is dangerous for society,” he said.
The HND said that the situation was particularly difficult in small towns where journalists were under pressure from local power-wielders.