ZAGREB, 11.08.2018. – The Croatian Journalists’ Association strongly condemns the outrageous decision of the District State Attorney in Split to reject criminal charges against Stipe Perković Tabak. By the end of May Perković Tabak threatened to kill Index journalists: at the Index portal Facebook page he left the comment: “These Index journalists should be killed“.
MS Jelena Maraš, deputy District State Attorney in Split, said in her explanation of this outrageous decision to reject criminal charges that Perković Tabak „had his birthday the day he left the message and had somewhat too much alcohol“ so he was „taken by emotions“. She especially emphasized he „is Croatian veteran decorated several times“. We find to be inadmissible that deputy District State Attorney, who has to implement laws and protect rule of law, makes possible for just one social group to be above laws that apply to all other citizens. By doing so she violated constitutional principle of equality of citizens. The Croatian Journalists’ Association finds this arbitrary interpretation of the law to be inadmissible and MS Maraš’s point of view that „death threat in the comment that Index journalists should be killed was not serious“ we find to be shameful.
Decisions of the kind send wrong message as they encourage persons who want to threaten journalists or anybody else by death. According to interpretation of this deputy State Attorney nothing will happen to them if they are „Croatian veterans decorated several times“ and if they „are taken by emotions if they had drunk bit more”. CJA calls upon all relevant institutions to follow the law without any exceptions.
CJA will inform the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and other international organizations protecting media freedom about the above mentioned decision.
CJA, Zagreb, 11/08/2018