The Croatian Writers Society (HDP) on Friday condemned institutional and non-institutional threats against its member, journalist Boris Dezulovic, over a text in which he criticised political figures who he said use the suffering of the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar in the 1991-95 war to gain political support, without caring for the actual needs of the people who live in the town today.
“The Croatian Writers Society most strongly condemns institutional and non-institutional threats against our renowned, internationally awarded journalist and writer Boris Dezulovic, made over his article headlined ‘F*ck Vukovar’, published on the N1 broadcaster’s website,” the HDP wrote in a statement.
HDP noted that that Dezulovic was previously awarded one of the most important journalistic awards in Europe, precisely for a text he wrote about the plight of Vukovar in 1991.
“He is directly threatened by reactions by some of the members of parliament, Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava, the War Veterans Ministry and war veterans’ associations, which claim the exclusive right to determine the borders of freedom of expression as well as of coming to terms with painful facts,” the Society said.
Dezulovic has already experienced problems because of his public work and now he has been targeted by a campaign launched on social networks and by right-wing media outlets, as well as state institutions that are putting a stamp of state, regime legitimacy on attempts to put his livelihood at risk, the HDP added.
Following harsh reactions to his article, Dezulovic said on Wednesday that if there were Vukovar victims who felt offended, they were not offended by his article but by those who trade in their suffering, and that his article was about using the horrible sacrifice of Vukovar in the war for the purpose of scoring cheap political points.
The right-wing DP party, led by Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava, and the Ministry of War Veterans claimed that with his article Dezulovic “tried to degrade all victims of Vukovar and the 1991-95 war.”