February 2, 2007


Vienna, 02/02/2007


Ivo Sanader
Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia

Ivica Kirin
Minister of Interior Affairs of the Republic of Croatia

Your Excellencies,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned by the repeated burglaries at the house of Gordan Malić, a journalist at the weekly magazine Globus. Based on Information provided to SEEMO, the first burglary took place in December 2006 and was followed by a second burglary on 31 January 2007. In 2001 and 2004, Malić received murder threats. He also received 24-hour police protection in 2001. SEEMO has strong reason to believe that these burglaries are related to the threats, which Gordan Malić received a few years ago for his investigative reporting.

We would also like to remind you that, in February 2005, SEEMO issued a protest supporting Malić. On 18 February 2005, SEEMO was informed by a group of five Croatian journalists, including Malić, that the Counter-Intelligence Agency (POA) had recently accused them of meeting with representatives of foreign secret services.

We would also like to remind you that, on numerous occasions in 2006, SEEMO has been informed about threats to other investigative journalists in Croatia. SEEMO is deeply concerned about the safety of Croatian journalists and asks Your Excellencies to do everything in your power to urgently investigate these cases, and to take all necessary steps to protect Malić’s life. Finally, SEEMO would like to remind Your Excellencies that a safe working environment for journalists is a fundamental principle of every democratic society. It is also in the interests of democratic development in Croatia that journalists are allowed to investigate stories free of any pressure. We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic

SEEMO Secretary General