Threats against Nacional are proof of dangerous days for journalists in Croatia, says HND

NEWS 23.05.202417:33 0 komentara
Luka Stanzl/PIXSELL

The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) on Thursday reacted to the threats to the editorial board of Nacional weekly, calling them a direct attack on press freedoms and saying that "these are dangerous days for the journalistic community in Croatia."

The HND is “appalled by the threats… which clearly emphasise the connection with the horrific murder of the editor and owner of this weekly, Ivo Pukanic, and his colleague Niko Franjic in 2008.”

These threats directly jeopardise the safety of Nacional journalists, “whom we stand by, but they are also a direct attack on media freedom,” the HND said in a statement.

Such threats are “directly linked to the deterioration of the already poor climate in society for the journalistic profession.”

“The media were practically labelled as enemies of the state”

HND recalled that “just over a month ago, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic dangerously labelled Nacional together with Telegram, N1, Index and 24 Sata as an ‘axis of evil'” and recalled “the open threats of the leaders of the Domovinski pokret (DP) party against the editorial staff of the weekly Novosti as well as against the entire journalistic community.”

The media were practically labelled as enemies of the state, the HND said.

“Such and similar irresponsible and dangerous statements, as well as the lack of a clear and unequivocal condemnation of threats and attacks on journalists and media by the highest political representatives of the state, serve as fuel for various anonymous thugs, as evidenced by the increasing number of threats our colleagues have received in recent weeks.”

The HND said it would inform the international public and institutions about the latest threats, adding that “the message to those who want to intimidate us remains the same: You will not silence us.”

Plenkovic: “Any threat against anyone is dangerous”

Following the threatening message to Nacional, which the editors reported to the police, press representatives in Cetingrad asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic whether he felt “responsible” because the message labelled the media as an “axis of evil” and used “the same language” that he had used at a meeting of his HDZ party.

“No, I certainly do not. I do not know where you got this idea,” he said, asking the press if they were referring to “an internal speech at a party meeting that was not intended for the public, which served to explain some political positions figuratively and which has nothing to do with this.”

Kristina Štedul Fabac/Pixsell

“We condemn all threats against journalists, we respect their work and their freedoms, and we have proven that,” he said. When asked if the Nacional editors would receive protection, Plenkovic said that this was not in his hands and that the police would investigate all threats and then decide on the matter.

Asked if this was dangerous, he said that any threat against anyone is dangerous.

“Do you want me to perhaps quote some of the articles that supported the terrorist attack on (the government building) and (the attacker Danijel) Bezuk? Shall I tell you which journalist, which columnist, in which daily newspaper?…. When they are threatened, they are afraid, they fear for themselves, for their families,” he said, referring to the Bezuk’s attack in October 2020.

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