CJA on World Press Freedom Day: We Have Plenković with Dangerous Intentions

Source/Author: CJA
Source/Photo: CJA

On World Press Freedom Day, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) clearly states: we have Plenković with dangerous intentions. The latest scandalous outburst of the acting Prime Minister occurred yesterday towards our colleague Dora Kršul, a journalist of the portal Telegram.hr, following the arrest of a close associate of Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek. Andrej Plenković arrogantly told the journalist that her revelations in the case of the Ministry of Culture and Media and the Geodetic Faculty are politically motivated and not journalism but the result of illegal actions. Discoveries about the affairs of the ministry for the acting Prime Minister “do not represent any investigative journalism” but rather a “deal with someone in the system,” which he accuses of being illegal.

Andrej Plenković’s ambition to be the chief editor of all Croatian media has long metastasized and become dangerous for society. The Prime Minister likes it when the media are captured and controlled with public money distributed under the table or used to buy their obedience. The Prime Minister does not like when difficult questions are asked, and getting more nervous by the year, he insults anyone he can. Recently, he called independent media “the axis of evil,” and when his initials appeared last year in one of the corrupt stories that the media uncovered, he immediately reached for the law of dangerous intentions, “Lex AP,” and Ivan Turudić as the Chief Public Prosecutor. Plenković, as seen from his statements, would criminalize investigative journalism and corrupt the media to avoid them causing him “political damage.”

CJA fully supports colleague Kršul and the editorial team of Telegram, as well as all investigative journalists whose work in the public interest the Prime Minister has intentionally been trying to devalue for months, especially after a column of ministers was forced to leave the Government due to the revelations made by these colleagues of ours. With Ivan Turudić assuming the position of Chief Public Prosecutor, the charges the Prime Minister threatens from the podiums could materialize because Turudić was also caught lying thanks to the “leakage” from Josipa Pleslić’s (formerly Rimac) files. The nominated future Chief Public Prosecutor caught in a lie clearly stated that the publication of messages revealing the nature of his relationship with the accused is not in the public interest. Moreover, they cause him political damage, which is apparently the criterion by which a judge or chief public prosecutor would decide what is illegal and criminal, and what is investigative journalism in the public interest.

This is a loud threat to all whistleblowers so they don’t happen to report anything compromising about the government to our colleagues, as they could end up in prison for up to three years for disclosing information that the public has the right to know if they cause “political damage.”

On World Press Freedom Day, which is increasingly endangered with each passing day, the Croatian Journalists’ Association states that it will never give up resisting the arbitrariness of politicians and all others who think that the public interest is actually their private interest.

For the Executive Board of the CJA

Hrvoje Zovko, President of the CJA

Chiara Bilić, Vice President of the CJA

Dragutin Hedl, Vice President of the CJA