The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) has reiterated its request for revoking the provision on punishable defamation from the Penal Code, and the latest call for rescinding the controversial provision came on Friday after a recent judgement by a municipal court in Zagreb that ordered the commercial RTL broadcaster to pay HRK 50,000 to Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic because it aired an interview with Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic which included disparaging remarks about Bandic.
The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) requested that the Justice Ministry and the government strike defamation from a bill of amendments to the Penal Code. Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic said that amendments to the Penal Code regarding defamation were aimed at preventing the abuse of imprecise legal provisions to restrict freedom of opinion and speech.
Under draft amendments to the Penal Code defined by the Justice Ministry, the Penal Code will retain provisions on the criminal act of defamation but only the most serious cases of defamation, to be called grave defamation, will be penalised, the head of the Criminal Law Department of the Justice Ministry, Ana Kordej, said on Saturday.
Without free, independent, and pluralistic media citizens are deprived of the possibility to keep power accountable. Corruption and maladimistration prosper, personal business and political interest replace the common good of all, minorities face increasing marginalisation. The deterioration of media pluralism and media freedom in Europe is above all a threat to democracy.
The ownership structure of Croatia's radio industry should be more pluralistic, the private ownership should prevail with maximum transparency and honouring a good regulatory framework, a round table discussion said in Zagreb on Thursday. The discussion was held to mark World Radio Day, observed on 13 February.
The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) and the Journalists' Union (SNH) on Friday strongly opposed the decision by the director-general of the public broadcaster HRT to close 11 of its local bureaux as part of the restructuring process.
Some external members of the parliamentary Finance Committee on Monday objected to a proposal to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on some daily newspapers, stating that the reduction of VAT from 10 percent to five ppercent should be applied to all newspapers and not just some, while some members said VAT should remain as it was.