President of Croatian Journalists Association Claims Someone Tried to Assassinate Him

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Saša Leković says that someone tampered with his car.

President of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) Saša Leković announced on Facebook that a car mechanic discovered that someone half-sawed screws on the front right wheel of his car. HND secretary general Vladimir Lulić said that it was an assassination attempt against Leković, reports N1 on October 28, 2016.

In his post, Leković described how his car started shaking and swerving while driving on a motorway. He immediately stopped and saw that his “right front wheel was twisted”. “We towed the car to a mechanic who informed me that he found that two screws on the right front wheel were sawed halfway”, wrote Leković. “This is not the first time that someone has ‘played’ with screws on my car. This is one of the more common methods of ‘obstruction’”, wrote Leković.

Lulić said that this event was a logical consequence of failing to act on all the threats which Leković had been receiving in anonymous letters and via comments on internet in the last year and a half, since he was elected HND president. “The authorities are the ones which permanently disregard the threats, and we have therefore asked Speaker of Parliament to schedule a parliamentary debate about journalism, since there are threats against other journalists as well”, said Lulić. He added that HND had informed international journalistic organizations and the OSCE about the latest events.

“Croatian Journalists’ Association is deeply concerned by the fact that many cases of threats against journalists in Croatia have not been solved and that the number of offenses which include hate speech and direct threats against journalists has increased dramatically in recent days”, said the Association in a statement.

In Parliament, several parliamentary groups reacted to events and demanded a special session of the Parliamentary Committee on the Media to take place. “This is not an isolated case of attack on a journalist. HINA director Branka Valentić has also received threats, as well as Sandra Bartolović and Goran Borković”, warned Nenad Stazić (SDP). He also mentioned attacks on Culture Minister Nina Obuljen and the Croatian Audiovisual Centre director Hrvoje Hribar. “We also demand Interior Minister to come to Parliament and explain why the police is so inefficient when it comes to threats against journalists”, added Stazić.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Media Jasen Mesić (HDZ) said that his party condemned all kinds of violence, in particular violence and threats against journalists. “We are sure that the right way to solve the problem of threats is through institutions and we call on all those who in any way receive threats to immediately report them. I would personally first go to a police station and report it than published information about it on Facebook. But, I agree that the Committee should debate this problem”, said Mesić.

Milorad Pupovac (SDSS) said that journalists were becoming one of the most vulnerable professions. Goran Richemberg (HNS) expressed solidarity with journalists who were subjected to threats. “It is worrying that a wave of verbal violence and hate speech has become a part of our everyday life, particularly on websites and social networks.”


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