CROATIA: SEEMO Press Release: Two Years after Brutal Attack on Jutarnji List Journalist Dusan Miljus, Perpetrators Still at Large

CROATIA, CROATIA, 01/06/2010

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), urges the Croatian authorities to step up their efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the attack on Dusan Miljus. 

Two years ago, on 2 June 2008, in front of his home in Zagreb, Croatia, Miljus was brutally attacked by unidentified men who beat him with baseball bats until he lost consciousness. When a neighbour noticed the attack and started yelling, the men fled.

Since the attack, Miljus has been threatened. On 9 July, 2008, serious threats were communicated by telephone to a relative of Miljus, who was told that if Miljus did not "stop talking, other members of his family might get hurt". The unknown male caller then clearly indicated that he had information about Miljus' family members. Miljus was also previously threatened by way of a paid advertisement in a newspaper, in which the sister of a murdered criminal convict issued an obituary for Miljus. 

Miljus' writings span 20 years and cover crime in South East Europe, the mafia and Croatian underground circles. 

"Even though SEEMO welcomes the police protection, it is alarmed at the continued failure of the police to track down the perpetrators, and urges the Croatian authorities to do everything in their power to ensure Miljus' protection and to finally bring to justice the persons behind this brutal attack2 said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic. 

Vujovic added; "Croatia, a country aiming for European Union membership, already has anti-corruption as a main topic on the agenda. Therefore it is worrisome that investigative journalists like Miljus, who dare to report openly, are not protected enough. Unfortunately they remain a target, like the late Ivo Pukanic, a journalist and owner of the NCL Media Group in Zagreb who was murdered in October 2008, together with Niko Franjic, marketing director of the weekly newspaper Nacional, which is published by NCL."

SEEMO strongly supports the statement made by the Croatian Journalist Association (CJA-HND) and the public letter it sent, referring to this matter, to Tomislav Karamarko, the Minister of Interior of Croatia.

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