Vienna, 17 September 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemned a physical attack against the crew of Nova TV, the second assault committed against them in 10 days.
Yesterday, 16 September, Nova TV reporter Ema Branica, cameraman Alan Novak and camera-assistant Goran Jaganjac were attacked in the settlement of Veliki Pasljan (Veliki Pašljan), near the city of Garesnica (Garešnica) in Croatia. The media crew was covering a story about an alleged series of frauds conducted by a local man, Ivica Suznjevic (Ivica Sužnjević).
Along with directing numerous threats and hate speech against the TV crew, Suznjevic’s brother allegedly violently pushed Ema Branica who fell into a ditch and nearly missed its concrete edge with her head. Suznjevic then swung at the cameraman, attempting to damage the camera.
According to Nova TV, ten days ago their reporter Mate Barisic (Mate Barišić) was attacked by an individual who attempted to damage his recording device while working in the town of Pula.
“SEEMO expresses deep concern for the brutal, violent and continuously physical attacks Croatian journalists face” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said earlier today. “It is unacceptable for a democratic, EU member country to have such low standards for the safety and protection of journalists. Not only are they often attacked and threatened, but many of these cases go by without actual investigations or legal penalizations of the perpetrators. We call on institutions in the country to immediately help protect journalists from attacks” Vujovic added.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.