Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

SEEMO - Founded 2000 - Defending Press Freedom in South, East and Central Europe


Jan - Apr 2013
Sep - Dec 2012
May - Aug 2012
Jan - Apr 2012
Sep-Dec 2011
May-Aug 2011
Jan - Apr 2011
Sep - Dec 2010
May-Aug 2010
Jan - Apr 2010
Sep - Dec 2009
May - Aug 2009
Jan - Apr 2009
Sep - Dec 2008
May - Aug 2008
Jan - May 2008
Sep - Dec 2007
Jan - Aug 2007
Sep - Dec 2006
Jan - Aug 2006
Sep - Dec 2005
Jan - Aug 2005
Sep - Dec 2004
Jan - Aug 2004
Jun - Dec 2003
Jan - May 2003
Sep - Dec 2001
Jan - Aug 2001

II South, Central and East Europe Investigative Journalism Days, Belgrade, June, 2011 (3D)

Internship / Job
100 pens for future journalists
Subscribe for SEEMO press releases and protest letters

Site search:

Bookmark and Share




Press freedom 2008

Criminal Case against Reporter journalist Biserka Karneza Cerjak - Slovenia
Vienna, 10 December 2008

Slovenian police summoned journalist Biserka Karneza Cerjak in for questioning on 24 November, following criminal defamation allegations made against her by Bojan Srot, mayor of Slovenia’s third largest city and leader of the Slovenian People’s Party (SLS). The allegations, which relate to a May 2008 Reporter magazine item that Srot considers “bombastic,” have been made under article 171 of the Slovenian Criminal Code – the same article former Prime Minister Janez Janša is currently using to pursue charges against Finnish journalist Magnus Berglund. If found guilty, Karneza Cerjak could face up to one year in prison.

 “This latest case is another example of how public officials in Slovenia abuse such laws to silence the media,” said IPI Director David Dadge. “When it comes to the handling of defamation, Slovenia is sorely out of step with the rest of the European Union. No journalist should face the possibility of prison for practicing their profession, particularly in a modern democracy such as Slovenia.”

Srot’s complaint related to statements written about him in his position as mayor of Celje in an article dating back to 26 May 2008. In the article, Karneza Cerjak made allegations concerning Srot’s business activities. The police are now investigating the matter.

Although most European Union countries retain some form of criminal defamation legislation, such laws are rarely used, in favour of appeals to domestic press councils or civil proceedings. In the case of Karneza Cerjak, however, Srot bypassed both the Slovenian Journalists’ Court of Honour and any form of civil redress. Mayor Srot has been unavailable for comment on the matter.

The criminal libel investigation into Karneza Cerjak is only the most recent example of criminal defamation measures taken against journalists in Slovenia. In February, a group of Slovenian citizens attempted to bring criminal defamation charges against the journalists who initiated a 2007 petition against government interference in the media, claiming that the petition defamed the nation. In October, then-prime minister Janez Janša filed criminal charges against Finnish journalist Magnus Berglund for alleging his involvement in a corruption scandal. This recent wave of criminal defamation charges in Slovenia comes at around the same time that Slovenia’s new Criminal Code, featuring stricter defamation laws that increase the scope of criminal responsibility, has come into force.



to the top


Latest news:

Press freedom:

SEEMO concerned at the growing number of press freedom violations in South East Europe
SEEMO alarmed at growing number of press freedom violations in South East Europe
SEEMO welcomes Serbia commission to investigate journalist murders
SEEMO concerned at arrest of Croatia journalist
SEEMO urges Serbia mayor to drop lawsuit against newspaper


Dr. Erhard Busek - SEEMO 2012 - WINNER
Human Rights Photo Award 2012 - WINNER
CEI Award 2012 - WINNER
SEEMO Human Rights Award 2012 - WINNER


SMH 2009
Other Publications


SEEMO Calendar:


Partners Webpages:




The South East Europe Media Organisation * Südosteuropäische Medienorganisation * Медијска организација Југоисточне Европе * Medijska organizacija Jugoistočne Europe
Medijska organizacija Jugoistočne Evrope * Organizata mediale e Evropës Juglindore * Medijska organizacija za Jugovzhodno Evropo
Медиумската организација на југоисточна Европа * Organizzazione dei Media del Sud-Est Europa *
l’Organisation des médias du Sud Est de l’Europe
Délkelet-európai Médiaszervezet * Organizácia médií juhovýchodnej Európy * Organizace medií jihovýchodní Evropy * Kaakkois-Euroopan maiden mediajarjesto
Медийна организация за югоизточна Европа * Media Organisatie voor Zuid Oost Europa * Organización de Medios de Comunicación del Sureste Europeo
Dimosiografikos Organismos Notioanatolikis Evropis (Δημοσιογραφικός Οργανισμός Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης) * Медиа Организация Юго-Восточной Европы
Медiа Органiзацiя Пiвденно-Схiдно Європи * Organizacja Medii Poludniowo-Wschodniej Europy * Cənubi-Şərqi Avropa üzrə Media Təşkilatının
Den sydøsteuropæiske medieorganisation * ארגון המדיה הדרום-מזרח אירופי * दक्षिण पूर्वी यूरोप मीडिया संगठन * Güneydoğu Avrupa Medya Örgütü
Designed by Nenad Kircanski
copyright © 2009