The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) joined today their Croatian affiliate, Croatia Journalists’ Association (CJA), to strongly condemn the launching by the Croatian public broadcaster HRT of a procedure to fire journalist Hrvoje Zovko, president of CJA.
On 12 September, Hrvoje Zovko decided to resign as deputy editor-in-chief of public TV channel HTV4. Hrvoje Zovko has been a journalist and an editor for public TV HRT for 20 years. Zovko explained in a statement the reasons for his move, citing pressure, censorship and unprofessional choices of topics.
On 13 September, Zovko’s editor-in-chief, Katarina Perisa Cakarun, accepted his resignation, while criticizing his trade union involvement as chairman of CJA.
On 14 September, the management of HRT decided to launch a extraordinary dismissal procedure against the journalist, on the basis of a report by Katarina Perisa Cakarun.
IFJ, EFJ and CJA call on the management of HRT to stop the dismissal procedure, which is seen by CJA as an act of retaliation against Zovko, and an act of intimidation against all HRT journalists affiliated to CJA.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The dismissal procedure against Zovko is an attack to CJA and unionism. We demand to HRT’s board to reconsider its decision and respect CJA’s activity and its affiliates”.