CJA: We strongly condemn brutal physical attack against Zadar journalist Hrvoje Bajlo and call for quick and clear reaction from state institutions

Source/Author: CJA
Source/Photo: Hrvoje Bajlo

ZADAR, 27.06.2018. – Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) strongly condemns brutal physical attack against journalist Hrvoje Bajlo, the owner of Zadar News portal and correspondent for national media Index.hr and the Nacional weekly. The attack resulted with severe physical injuries. Hrvoje Bajlo, who has been following ways the town of Zadar has been managed and has documented links between Zadar political, business, spots and law social spectrum, was attacked on Sunday June 24, 2018 in the evening at the parking lot in Zadar by NK Zadar former footballer and today a businessman Jakov Surać.

According to Bajlo’s report the physical attack was preceded by insulting him. The attacker said Bajlo wrote for “Chetnicks’ index” and “shit of Nacional weekly” and threatened him to “cut his head off” if he went on writing about his friends Zdravko Livaković, Božidar Kalmeta and HDZ. It was followed by punches on his head and body, he was thrown to the ground, beaten again; he finally fainted. At the Zadar Emergency Hospital he was diagnosed: right arm fracture and series of injuries on his body and head. Injuries have been qualified as severe.

Hrvoje Bajlo has published at his Zadar News portal list of property of Zdravko Livaković, the former state secretary at the Ministry of Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure. That property has been frozen by USKOK due to the court case known as “Tugboat”. In that court procedure Božidar Kalmeta, the former Minister, Zdravko Livaković, his state secretary and dozen of other persons have been accused for extracting more than 15 million kunas from state companies.

Even in previous years Hrvoje Bajlo was threatened and insulted because of his uncompromising work. In spite of the fact all of those threats were reported to the police none of them have not been solved yet.

CJA calls for resolute actions of the police and justice institutions. We call the highest representatives of the administration to clearly condemn even more frequent threats and attacks against journalists. By silence and rationalization, seen in he case of Minister Medved’s threats against Vojislav Mazzocco, the Index.hr portal journalist, the highest state institutions cleary take side of the attackers against basic journalists’ rights and freedom of speech encouraging by that atmosphere of fear and violence in the society.