The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Croatian Journalists Association (CJA) and the Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety in strongly condemning the physical attack of Index.hr portal journalist Drago Miljuš by the members of the Split police department.
The journalist was standing at the public facility, outside police lines covering the police intervention at the Obojena svijetlost beach in Split (Croatia). The intervention was related to a suicide bomber who, unfortunately, came through with his intention. One of the policemen present started driving Miljus off, first verbally and then by pushing him away. The policeman threw Miljus mobile phone into the sea. He was joined by a special police force officer who hit the journalist in the head, knocking him down and splitting his lips. After the incident, Miljus requested medical assistance at the hospital where his lips were stitched. Split police department announced that it has opened an investigation into this incident and will inform the public about its findings.
“Croatian Journalists Associations welcomes the authorities’ reaction but warns that it has requested from the police to inform the general public about results of their investigations of threats and attacks against journalists on numerous occasions.”, said Sasa Lekovic, president of CJA – “But it was all in vain. Instead of sharing the information, the police department officers physically attack journalists at work”.
The IFJ and EFJ are supporting CJA’s request and has sent an alert to the Council of Europe’s platform for the protection and safety of journalists and reported the case to Mapping Media Freedom platform about this new violation in Croatia.