Croatia TV fires three TV staffers over anti-Serb rant; OSCE defends the Serb-bashers

by 1389 on March 21, 2013

in 1389 Blog Mailbox, Croatia, mainstream media

Serbia's Trail of Tears: Serbs being expelled from Croatia
Serbia’s Trail of Tears:
Expulsion from Croatia during Operation Storm

Balkan Insight: Croatia TV Punishes Staff Over Anti-Serb Rant

Katja Kusec, presenter of the evening news show Dnevnik 3, and two of Dnevnik 3’s editors, Ruzica Renic and Denis Latin, were replaced on Tuesday after airing inflammatory comments by Ruza Tomasic, an MP and head of the small far-right Croatian Party of Rights Ante Starcevic.

Tomasic told Saturday’s edition of Dnevnik 3 on which she was a guest that “all who spit on Croatia should leave the country”.

On the same show, Tomasic accused the president of Independent Democratic Serbian Party, the MP Vojislav Stanimirovic of having “picked the people who would be taken to Ovcara”.

Tomasic thus suggested that Stanimirovic was partly responsible for the murder of more than 200 wounded people who were taken from Vukovar hospital and executed at Ovcara after Serbian forces took the besieged town on November 18, 1991 at the height of Croatia’s independence war.

“He was with the Chetniks (Serbian paramilitaries). He fingerpointed who would be taken to Ovcara. He used to say that Vukovar is holy Serb land. He said that the last Ustasha (Croatian Fascist) stronghold fell when Vukovar hospital fell,” Tomasic told Dnevnik 3.

Prime Minister Milanovic sharply criticised HRT on Monday, saying that the television station “gave an opportunity to someone who did more than hate speech – not interrupting her while she was comitting a criminal offence”.

The prosecutor’s office denied Tomasic’s claims on Tuesday. In a communique, it said it had investigated claims that Stanimirovic was responsible for war crimes, but “didn’t establish any foundations for suspicion of his criminal responsibility”.

After Milanovic criticised HRT for allowing Tomasic to deliver a rant on Dnevnik 3, HRT condemned the Prime Minister’s statements as “intolerable pressure on media independence”.

Milanovic’s office responded by claiming that “HRT obviously isn’t capable of separating… the Prime Minister’s appeal for media responsibility from intolerable pressure on media”.

In spite of slating the Prime Minister’s remarks, on Tuesday HRT replaced the presenter and two editors of Dnevnik 3.

HRT has not officially explained the replacements, saying only that “HRT wouldn’t discuss them in other media, but only internally”.

OSCE will do anything to protect the rights of Serb-bashers

In a nutshell, OSCE is having a tantrum about HRT firing three journalists for on-air Serb-bashing. Yes, there are still some Serbs living in Croatia, strange as that may seem.

From: Dragan
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 3:47 PM

They were relieved because they declared that Serbs were only “guests” in Croatia and not its citizens.

Please react.

—–Original Message—–
From: webservices-at@osce.org
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:06 PM
Subject: OSCE media freedom representative concerned over treatment of journalists at Croatian public service broadcaster

Latest press release from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – http://www.osce.org

*** OSCE media freedom representative concerned over treatment of journalists at Croatian public service broadcaster ***

VIENNA, 20 March 2013 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern over the treatment of three journalists at Croatian Radio Television’s (HRT) news programme.

“I am concerned by the circumstances under which these journalists have been relieved of their positions within HRT,” Mijatović said. “This action can undermine media freedom in the country, of which the public service broadcaster should be a cornerstone.”

“I urge the Croatian Radio Television’s management to ensure that professional standards are upheld and that the rights of Denis Latin, Katja Kušec and Ružica Renić, are protected. I also call on the government and the HRT management to refrain any action that could lead to censorship and threaten editorial independence.”

The Representative has previously expressed concern over the treatment of journalists at HRT. See: http://www.osce.org/fom/90347

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit:
http://www.osce.org/fom/100247

For further information contact:

Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Wallnerstrasse 6
1010 Vienna
Austria
Office: +43 1 514 36 6800
Fax: +43 1 514 36 6802
pm-fom@osce.org

Gunnar Vrang
Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Wallnerstrasse 6
1010 Vienna
Austria
Office: +43 1 514 6602
Mobile: +43 1 134 28 28
Fax: +43 1 514 36 6802
gunnar.vrang@osce.org

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: