Home Blog

The European Commission responded to CJA’s letter: We will closely monitor developments regarding the Criminal Code.


Today, the European Commission responded to CJA’s letter expressing concern about the potential consequences of introducing a new criminal offense related to journalists’ work. As stated in the response, they have closely followed developments, especially as part of preparations for the Commission’s Annual Rule of Law Report.

The European Commission’s response also states that they are aware of the open letter from CJA and the editors of 19 Croatian media outlets and will continue to closely monitor relevant developments in Croatia regarding the practical consequences of recent amendments to the Criminal Code.

It is worth noting that the Croatian Journalists’ Association believes that the amendments to the Criminal Code regarding unauthorized disclosure of information from investigations, colloquially referred to as “Lex AP,” are dangerous for media freedom and the public’s right to be informed. CJA finds Article 307.a of the Criminal Code, “Unauthorized Disclosure of Content from Investigative or Evidentiary Actions,” unacceptable and has requested its withdrawal.



Ten questions from the Science Journalists section of the Croatian Journalists’ Association on the science system and science policy.


The Science Journalists section of the Croatian Journalists’ Association has directed ten questions about the science system and science policy to all political parties in Croatia. All answers received before the start of the pre-election silence will be published on the Croatian Journalists’ Association website in the order they arrive.

“We hope that our political parties will take advantage of this opportunity to present their views on the issues in the science system and inform the wider public about the solutions they plan to offer after winning the elections,” stated the Science Journalists section of the Croatian Journalists’ Association. The questions are as follows:

1) When you come into power, whom would your party nominate for the Minister of Science and Education? Additionally, regardless of their party affiliation or lack thereof, who would you like to see at the helm of that ministry?

2) Do you know what percentage of Croatia’s GDP is allocated to science and research in Croatia and where we stand in the EU in this regard? Do you plan to increase that percentage after winning the elections?

3) How do you assess the importance of basic sciences compared to applied sciences, and how will you establish the funding ratio between these two categories when you become part of the executive branch?

4) What are the two pressing issues in the Croatian science system that you see, and what will your party do as part of the ruling coalition after the elections to address them?

5) What measures will you take as part of the government to stop the brain drain of young and highly educated professionals abroad, with an emphasis on individuals who are already part of the science and higher education system?

6) Why have only a few projects in our country received support from the prestigious ERC fund, reserved only for the most promising scientific projects in the EU, while some scientific institutions in our immediate neighborhood have multiples more?

7) Do you agree that one of the major social problems in our country and the world is the decline in public trust in science and the rise of pseudoscience? If yes, how will your party in the Government direct state policy towards solving this major problem?

8) What measures will you take to ensure the promotion of the transfer of new technologies from the science system to the economy? Do you think that separating the science sector from the Ministry of Science and Education and forming an independent Ministry of Science and Technology could help in this regard?

9) How will you, within the ruling coalition, utilize the potential expertise, competencies, and experiences possessed by employees in the science and higher education system in improving legislation, introducing new regulations, and generally making correct decisions based on facts and science?

10) Do you advocate for an increase in the share of the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) program dedicated to science, considering that such programs are diminishing year by year, and will you introduce such an obligation into the Law on HRT?

Press Council: Stop Shameful Media Coverage of Child’s Death


The Press Council calls on all journalists and editors to immediately stop the scandalous, sensationalist, disturbing and shameful reporting on the death of a two-year-old girl from Bor and to show a minimum of respect for the victim, as well as consideration and compassion for her family.

By reporting on (accurate or fabricated) details of the crime, certain media today have violated all the ethical standards of journalism, but also the basic norms of decency and humanity.

At the last session, the Complaints Commission of the Press Council expressed its deep concern over the reporting, which a week ago was inadmissibly sensationalistic and undignified, but today reached a new, incomprehensible, low point.

The Press Council also calls on the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications to immediately react and sanction the media which, we believe, violated the legal norms.


Belgrade, 4.4.2024

Management Board of the Press Council


The Management Board of the Press Council includes representatives of the Media AssociationLocal Press, the Journalists’ Association of Serbia and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia.

Physical attack against Lajmi.net journalists


Lajmi.net journalists, Fjolla Hyseni and Lindita Berisha were physically attacked today by a couple on Rruga C in Prishtina.

In the disturbing footage published by the media a woman and a man are seen attacking journalists and attempting to prevent them from filming. According to this media, the incident started when the taxi carrying the journalists blocked their path, leading to a physical confrontation first with the taxi driver.

For the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, the physical attack on journalists Hyseni and Berisha is extremely disturbing, unacceptable, and a serious threat to the safety of journalists.

The journalists and the media have already reported the case to the Kosovo Police, and AJK invites the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office to take all the necessary actions to urgently address the physical attack that has happened.

Council of Europe: Two new cases from Serbia on the The Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists


The Council of Europe included on the Platform for the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists (COE platform) a new case of pressure and threats from Serbia that was previously pointed out by the SafeJournalists Network. The case refers to death threats addressed to the N1 newsroom through comments on the website. The second case from Serbia included on the COE platform refers to the accusations of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic against the Guardian, Bild and FAZ that they are waging a hybrid war against him.


Threats to the editorial office of N1

On February 26, 2024, the newsroom of the N1 channel in Belgrade received death threats in the comments section of its website.

The author wrote: “I will kill you all soon”, with insults and claims that he knows where the journalists live and “what kind of cars they drive”. N1 program director Igor Bozic told the SafeJournalists network that the newsroom has recently been the subject of a large number of threats. “Institutions in charge of protecting the public must be particularly sensitive to journalists who are the voice of citizens. “It’s a small step from threats to physical attack,” he said. The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS) strongly condemned the threats and called on the authorities to take repressive measures against the perpetrators.

In addition, the SafeJournalists Network reported on the threats previously addressed to the N1 newsroom, which was also included in the COE Platform.

On January 11, 2024, Igor Bozic, program director of the N1 channel, received an email sent for him to the N1 address. It said: “The day will come when you will have bloody heads, your mother is a Nazi, a bastard, a Serb-hater, a traitorous s***.” Two similar emails had already been sent to Bozic a month earlier. The threat was reported to the Special Prosecutor’s Office for high-tech crime on the same day.

Namely, on December 3, 2021, the staff of N1 television received threats via Twitter and email. A post on Twitter called for a raid on the television studio, the interruption of broadcasts and the expulsion of staff, while the email directly threatened N1 employees and their families: “I want to say do not cry over what happened or what is happening to your loved ones.” Threats on the Internet were also sent in connection with the nationwide protests held on December 4.


“A hybrid war”

On February 5, 2024, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic declared on television that he was a victim of, as he said, a “hybrid war” waged by international newspapers. Referring to articles by the Guardian, Bild and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Happy TV, President Vucic called the Guardian a “criminal list” and stated that everything foreign newspapers said and did was “allegedly related to the elections and the state of democracy in Serbia.” , was actually aimed at weakening the country.

The allegations have been vehemently denied. FAZ journalist Michael Martens denied that he had ever written that President Vucic was planning a war the next day in a comment for the N1 channel and said: “It seems to me that the President of Serbia knows very well that there is no hybrid media war against him – at least not by me and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but I don’t think from other western media either. I don’t know if this is true for the Russian media as well.”

A Guardian spokesperson told Radio Free Europe (RSE) that President Vucic’s comments were “absolutely unfounded” before reaffirming the paper’s commitment to “fearless, independent journalism that calls out those in power.”


The Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists is a unique mechanism that facilitates dialogue between governments and journalistic organizations, with the aim of stopping violations of press freedom in the member states of the Council of Europe and allowing journalists to carry out their profession without the risk of endangering their safety.

The second module of the Academy on Dealing with the Past (DWP) journalis, and Conflict Sensitive Reporting was held


Journalism students and journalists of the Academy, during the second module, were lectured about the impact of disinformation on dealing with the past.

This module of the Academy was lectured by Getoarbë Mulliqi, Executive Director of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, who spoke to the participants about the complex relationship between disinformation and social efforts to address and reconcile historical injustices and conflicts. They were able to see how false narratives and disinformation can misrepresent public understanding of historical events, hinder reconciliation processes and perpetuate divisions. Through discussions and practical work, journalists had the opportunity to see strategies for identifying and combating disinformation, with a focus on fostering an informed public discourse that supports truth-telling and accountability.

Also, at the end of the module, the documentary ‘Think Like a Fact Checker,’ with the author Getoarbë Mulliqi, produced by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo, was shown

The documentary was produced in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Saint Petersburg in the United States of America.

The Academy on Dealing with the Past (BmK) and Conflict Sensitive Reporting will continue with two more modules in the following months.

BH journalists: Soon a free helpline for human rights defenders


Sarajevo, 29.3.2024. At the beginning of last year, the situation in Republika Srpska worsened, especially when amendments to the Criminal Code criminalizing defamation were adopted. Then followed the announcements of the adoption of the Law on the Special Register of Non-Governmental Organizations (the so-called law on “foreign mercenaries”), as well as a number of other very restrictive laws from which it was clear that the space for the work and activity of activists in this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be less and less. It is for this reason that BiH journalists organized an internal two-day training with representatives of the Helsinki Citizens’ Parliament of Banja Luka (HPGBL) and Transparency International BiH on the establishment of a helpline for the protection of the rights and safety of human rights defenders.


The goal of the training was to exchange knowledge, experience, best practices and new perspectives in providing free legal assistance within the Free Media Help Line (FMHL) in order to be able to react and help activists in a timely manner.

Dragana Dardić, program director of the Helsinki Citizens’ Parliament Banja Luka stated that this in-house training is the official start of a project that is primarily aimed and focused on the protection of human rights defenders in BiH who find themselves in certain crisis situations, as well as their regular monitoring and reporting on all occurrences of human rights violations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“At this training, we had the opportunity to hear the experiences of the helpline for journalists, which will be very important for the establishment of our helpline for human rights defenders, which will be unique in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We already have a legal team, but it will expand with human rights expert lawyers who will be at the service of activists who find themselves in certain crisis situations. Some activists found themselves directly under attack and under different types of pressure from different actors. Judging by what we see now, Linija will have its hands full,” said Dardić.

Transparency International BiH (TI BiH) already has an established line for providing free legal aid, noted Ena Kljajić-Grgić, head of the Center for Providing Legal Aid in TI BiH, which citizens call every day.

“We exchanged experiences that were very useful to all parties in our process, because each of our organizations has a special approach to the group it represents. Our conclusions are that in all this we must act together in order to be useful to human rights defenders. Last year alone, Transparency International BiH had 1,337 calls to the free line for reporting cases of corruption, that is a telephone line. We acted in 317 cases, some of which were from citizens, some of which we initiated on our own initiative,” said Kljajić-Grgić.

Borka Rudić, general secretary of BH journalists, believes that the experience of the Helpline for Journalists (FHML) in protecting the rights and freedoms of journalists in BiH is very valuable for other civil society organizations and activists in terms of knowledge transfer and good practices.

“FHML has been operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 20 years and we can truly say now that we have the capacity for ‘know-how’ training methodologies and building the capacity of others to provide free legal and professional assistance to persons facing human rights violations and other security risks. This training showed that we have so much in common with HPGBL and Ti BiH in legal support and advocacy for the rights of human rights defenders, whistleblowers and journalists that it is the right time to coordinate activities, share values ​​and achieve more effective results in the protection of the aforementioned groups.” said Rudić.

She added that these three organizations will coordinate activities and jointly represent the interests of journalists and defenders before various institutions and above all before the judiciary and the executive and legislative authorities.

BH journalists: Online threats and other forms of cybercrime are a big problem in the Herzegovina-Neretva region


Mostar, 27.3.2024. Media professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina would feel safer if there was a Registry of cyber bullies, but also if the legal regulations were changed and adapted to the current problems that journalists face in the online space. Also, it is very important that the media write more about cyber violence. These are some of the conclusions of the educational training held on Wednesday in Mostar organized by BH journalists (BHJA) and FMHL (Free Media Help Line) with the participation of journalists and editors from Mostar, Čapljina and Nevesinje.

The training was organized with the aim of training journalists and media in the local community about the system of legal and institutional support and how to use effective protection through the use of legal representation in cases of threats, attacks, gender-based violence and misogyny in the online sphere, as well as other forms of cybercrime such as hacker attacks, violation of copyright and other rights, theft of identity and media content, etc.

Denija Hidić, a member of the Cure Foundation Team, noted that attacks on female journalists are becoming more frequent in the online/offline sphere of activity, and that these attacks on female professionals, media workers also have a note of gender-based violence and discrimination.”Such forms of hate speech, gender-based violence and misogyny should be condemned in the public space, and we all have a duty to protect female journalists and provide them with freedom in reporting. It is necessary to process the attackers according to the priority process and to protect female journalists. The Law on Gender Equality provides key tools for female journalists to refer to the provisions of the law that protect women’s rights and discrimination against women based on gender,” said Hidić.

Internet abuse, doxxing, DDoS attacks and phishing and malware attacks are cases of security threats and risks that the Federal Police Administration (FUP) in Sarajevo has recorded in its work, said Saša Petrović, inspector of FUP Sarajevo at a training session in Mostar. He emphasized that the reports of journalists do not differ from the reports of ordinary citizens and that the law does not currently recognize journalists differently. He also pointed out that without the initiative of the Prosecutor’s Office, the police cannot react.

“The prosecution and the prosecutor is a key institution that manages the investigation, supervises the investigation and finally writes the indictments and sends the indictments to the court. The police is only an executive body. We have our basic powers that we must respect. I think that all issues of jeopardizing the safety of journalists should be asked of the prosecutors. In Serbia and Croatia, the criminal code regulated ‘harassment on the Internet’ as a criminal offense, this is not yet the case in our country and we should advocate for it,” Petrović said.

Attacks on the privacy, security and freedom of expression of media workers represent a serious risk not only for them as individuals, but also for democratic processes and freedom of information in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

According to the records of the Journalist Helpline (FMHL), out of 87 cases registered in the database during 2023, there are 35 cases where threats/attacks were directed at female journalists. In the past year, the Helpline for Journalists and the Association/Association of BH Journalists have registered in the database 24 cases related to cyber attacks and threats, where the victims of threats were most often female journalists (in 8 cases), while 5 media houses were exposed to multi-day attacks. hacker attacks.

Also, we point out that last year 72 individuals from the journalistic community and 15 media used free legal aid within the framework of FMHL, including representation before the courts, and the protection of journalistic rights and freedoms before institutions at different levels of government.

The training was organized with the support of the US Government as part of the USAID program to help independent media in BiH #MEA, which is implemented by Internews in cooperation with the organization Fhi360 and local partners.

PEN INTERNATIONAL: Serbia: Death threats against writer and academic Dinko Gruhonjić condemned

photo: Media Centar


Serbia: Death threats against writer and academic Dinko Gruhonjić condemned

‘PEN international condemns the mounting death threats against writer and academic Dinko Gruhonjić and urge the Serbian authorities to do everything in their power to hold the perpetrators to account. The situation for freedom of expression in Serbia is at critical point. The dangerous cycle of impunity for crimes against writers and journalists – which emboldens perpetrators and encourages further threats and attacks – must end once and for all’. Ma Thida, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

28 March 2024: PEN International is deeply concerned about the safety of writer and academic Dinko Gruhonjić, who is subject to a dangerous smear campaign, including death threats. PEN International calls on the Serbian authorities to abide by their national and international obligations to uphold the right to freedom of expression, and urgently ensure the protection of Gruhonjić and fellow independent writers and journalists who find themselves increasingly targeted for their critical views. All those responsible for crimes against writers must be held to account.

Dinko Gruhonjić, a journalist, writer, and lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy of Novi Sad in Vojvodina, Norther Serbia, has been facing increased harassment, smears, and death threats since 14 March 2024, following the publication of an edited video in which Gruhonjić was falsely made to appear as welcoming sharing a name with Dinko Šakić, who was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in World War II. On 21 March, unknown individuals painted threatening graffiti on the entrance to his residence, stating, ‘Dinko – Šakić for the eternal home you are ready’. That same day, his personal phone number was disclosed, resulting in him receiving myriad death threats. National and international organisations have urged the Serbian authorities to hold those responsible to account. PEN International understands that despite a formal complaint being lodged, law enforcement officials had yet to launch a thorough investigation at the time of writing. Students who publicly supported Gruhonjić also reported receiving death threats.

Dinko Gruhonjić is amongst several writers and journalists at heightened risk in Serbia for their independent and critical reporting. Amongst them is Serbian writer and journalist Marko Vidojković, who notably spoke on 21 March 2024 about his plight and the broader situation in Serbia at a panel event marking the launch of PEN International’s Case List of persecuted writers for 2023/2024. Writer and academic Jovo Bakić, who has been the target of the Serbian authorities and pro-government trolls for years, also found himself smeared again in pro-government media following the publication on 12 March 2024 of another edited video, culminating in renewed verbal attacks by former Serbian Prime Minister and president of the National Assembly of Serbia, Ana Brnabić. PEN International calls for an end to the continued harassment and targeting of Vidojković and Bakić.

Source: NDNV, PEN