On World Press Freedom Day, the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists and the Croatian Journalists’ Association paid tribute to journalists killed in Ukraine and all the journalists whose freedom of speech is threatened.
In a public action, five minutes till noon, which was held in front of the Press House in Zagreb, in front of memorial plaques to journalists killed in the anti-fascist struggle in Second World War and the Homeland War, the president of the Croatian Journalists’ Union, Maja Sever read the parts from the Declaration for Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has once again emphasized the essential role of independent, ethical journalism, which informs citizens and helps them make vital decisions, and calls those in power to account.
Croatian Journalists’ Association Vice President Branko Mijić said that our victim is one step closer to the day that every corner of this world must be a day of freedom and not the death of the media. That’s why we do not celebrate while colleagues and friends die and rot in dungeons. Today, we are standing here with only one message: We will not give up; the truth is on our side. A Luta Continua!
In a statement sent to all newsrooms, the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists’ Union reiterated the need for better protection of journalism as indispensable factor in any true democracy. Increasingly insecure and temporary work in the media, especially on numerous portals and other online media, reduces the ability of journalists to protect themselves and their profession and thus defend the credibility of the media in which they work and collaborate. Above all, many employers ban journalists from organizing unions, not only in small but also in large media. The Croatian Journalists’ Union warns that trade union law is a fundamental human right that no one should challenge journalists and media workers. We, as media workers, must not agree to these bans. It is important to protect the labor rights of media workers and thus ensure their free and independent work.
On World Press Freedom Day, the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists ‘ joins the IFJ and EFJ umbrella organizations in calling on governments to enshrine in domestic law the inviolability of journalists’ communications both abstractly and in the framing of specific laws and regulations such as those on domestic surveillance. We call on the international community to build a regulatory regime that allows the inspection and regulation of all organizations supplying products that have the capacity to undermine journalists’ fundamental rights and freedoms.