OSCE says media freedoms in Croatia threatened

Croatia belongs to a group of countries where freedom of the media is threatened, which was confirmed at the annual meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) being held in Sarajevo, Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) president Sasa Lekovic, who is attending the event, told Hina on Monday.

"The speech of the special OSCE freedom of the media representative, Dunja Mijatovic, and comments of the participants in the conference indicate that freedom of the media and journalists' independence are being increasingly threatened throughout Europe and that Croatia is among countries where this is especially visible," Lekovic said.

He underscored that this only confirmed what the HND had been saying for the past year.

Along with the countries in which, according to the OSCE, freedom of the media has been a long-lasting problem, such as Ukraine, Turkey or Serbia, Mijatovic also mentioned Croatia, together with Hungary and Poland, as the EU countries with significant problems in that sector, Lekovic said.

All previous governments in Croatia were criticised for failing to do enough for freedom and independence of the media. The incumbent government has increased pressure on the media and journalists, including the dissolution of the Electronic Media Council and treatment of the public broadcaster HTV as a war booty, Lekovic said.

According to him, the EFJ, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the OSCE freedom of the media office and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) share the HND's assessment.

Lekovic underlined he expected international organisations monitoring freedom of the media to step up their activities and warn the authorities in Croatia that what they were doing was contrary to international standards.

Last update: Mon, 25/04/2016 - 14:15

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