OSCE: Respect Croatia’s public broadcaster’s independence

11 March 2016 / Published by b.92.net

The OSCE has warned that “the independence of the broadcast regulator is a key element for media pluralism and freedom of the media.”

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has expressed concern over a sudden decision by the Croatian government proposing that the parliament rejects a regular report of the Croatian Agency for the Electronic Media, to terminate the Agency’s mandate and to dismiss its director.

“The independence of the broadcast regulator is a key element for media pluralism and freedom of the media. Any interference or pressure to terminate its mandate or dismiss its members can only be seen as a form of political pressure on the Agency and its independent decision making authority,” she has been quoted as saying in an OSCE statement.

Furthermore, earlier this year the Agency was subjected to political pressure and intimidation after it suspended TV Z1’s operating license for three days, for inciting “hate speech and fomenting panic and unease among citizens,” the OSCE noted.

Today’s development follows last week’s government proposal and subsequent dismissal by the Parliament of the director general of Croatian Radio-Television (HRT), Goran Radman.

“These actions by the authorities raise serious concerns about the overall media freedom situation in the country. I call on the authorities to take immediate action to reverse this trend and to do their utmost to preserve independence of the public broadcaster and the broadcast regulator,” Mijatovic said.

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