Independence of public broadcaster and broadcast regulator must be respected, says OSCE Representative following events in Croatia
VIENNA, 10 March 2016 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today 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,” Mijatović said. “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.”
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.”
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,” Mijatović said. “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.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.