Journalist Ema Branica was threatened by a person who was part of the story in Nova TV show „Provjereno“ (Confirmed). As he was not satisfied by his treatment in the story, he sent the message to the journalist she would end like late Ivo Pukanić, who was killed some years ago in front of his publishing house. That threat is clearly a death treat. „Provjereno“ crew last week broadcasted story about the man who pretended to be female to becharm old and demented male to seize their properties.
The same man said to the journalist he could „slap her in the face badly“ and spit on her calling her names. CJA applauds the fact that he was apprehended as confirmed by Zagreb Police. We certainly hope he will be punished accordingly.
There were also threats against journalists who photographed church in Zagreb, Palmotićeva Street, where memorial service was held for high Ustaša officials from NDH who were sentenced to death and executed after the World War Two. Threats against journalist were made through a social network and we find it to be kind of APBs on those journalists.
It is actually a strong abuse of social network, warns CJA and calls for the State Attorney Office to react to this and similar cases to prevent verbal abuse to become physical.
Facebook administrator at „I admit I’m a Croat!“ portal in his comment called journalists in front of Palmotićeva church „creepies“ and „Party administrators who write down who has come to the church as their grandfathers and fathers did (…)“. To make the call for lynch complete, the photo of journalists doing their job in front of the church has been published.
Judging by the comments calling for expulsion, physical violence and death of journalists it can be seen that Facebook status hit its goal. Picture of one of the photo-reporters was even published in one TV show and host lied about the journalist’s job. He claimed the journalist was there to write down names of churchgoers to report on the. The host should have known that even the Croatian Constitution guarantees freedom of religious affiliation. It is the country with Vatican Agreements and religion is the subject in state schools.
CJA wants to remind the public of many cases of death threats and attacks against journalists that have not been closed for years and calls for relevant institutions to find perpetrators and their possible handlers and to punish them finally. Death threats and calls for violence against journalists we find to be direct threat to free journalism as public good and we expect relevant institutions to be quick in responding to those cases.
Saša Leković, CJA president