Host: Z1TV “Mark’s Square” Program
Photo: Screenshot Z1 TV Croatia January 2016
No judge, no jury – Croatia’s e-media (electronic media regulatory body in Croatia) has decided last week to temporarily shut down the broadcasting of Z1 TV programs as its draconian and utterly communist Yugoslavia-style response to opinion or comment expressed by TV program “Markov Trg” (Mark’s Square) host Marko Juric and an utterly ugly and hateful lynch against Juric was thus unleashed in public without any regard to justice or justification and indeed the right to “fair comment”, which – by the way – is and has been a solid rock for journalists to hold onto in defense of their opinions or comments throughout developed democracies of the Western world. Regretfully, Croatian democracy or democratic thought and deed have a long way to go before it can safely be said that Croatian citizens are truly safe from terrorist communist whips.
Specifically, the episode of Mark’s Square TV program, “Gvozdansko Versus Floral Square”, hosted by Marko Juric, included video material in which the current leaders/priests of Sebrian Orthodox Church in Zagreb Croatia along with their Serbian Orthdox Church officials sing Chetnik songs and praise the war criminal Momcilo Djujic. For those who may not be aware the Serb rebels in Croatia and the Serbs who attacked Croatia in 1991 (and later Bosnia and Herzegovina), slaughtering Croats and other non-Serbs, ethnically cleansing of them a third of Croatian territory – called themselves “Chetniks” as meaning Serbian royalist WWII Chetnik fighters; Momcilo Djujic was a Serb Orthodox Church priest who appointed himself a Chetnik during WWII and led the slaughter of some 2,000 innocent Croats in the Dalmatian region, he was also instrumental in perpetuating the Chetnik ideals throughout the Serb-aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina in the early 1990’s despite his advanced age.
Just before the last minute of the said TV program Marko Juric ended it, commenting: “…and another message to dear people of Zagreb, to all of you who stroll across the Floral Square, be careful, as nearby there stands a church in which, to paraphrase a Serbian Minister – Chetnik Vicars keep court. Hence, my dear Zagrebians, when you stroll along the Floral Square, especially mothers with children, take care so that one of those Vicars doesn’t run out of the church and, in his best slaughtering manner, executes his bloody feast on our most beautiful square in Zagreb, which perhaps should be marked with a plaque: “Beware – Sharp Chetnik Nearby.”
Left Serbian Orthodox Church
Metropolitanate for Zagreb (and Ljubljana) Porfirije
singing songs praising Serb Chetnik murderers
January 2016, Photo: Screenshot Youtube 26 January 2016
When one considers the video material in which the Zagreb’s Serb Orthodox Church priests/leaders sing praises to murderers and war criminals, having in mind the fact that Croatia’s Homeland War, in which the Serbs were the aggressors, wounds have still not healed…one can only conclude that Marko Juric’s comment was more a fair comment and a fair opinion and not hate speech as Croatia’s communist league are branding it.
But regardless of what Marko Juric’s comment was, how it is branded, one would think that the measures of closing a television program/station for even a day would be a decision that only a court could make after all evidence is tested! After all, people’s livelihoods and freedoms are at stake. Criminal sanctions have been brought against Z1 TV by e-media regulatory body without even seeing a criminal court, let alone having the benefit of due process!
Protest in Zagreb Croatia 26 January 2016
in support of Marko Juric & Z1 TV
Calling for sacking of head of e-media
I am utterly guttered with disappointment that the Croatian authorities have not stepped in with appropriate steps to stop such practices. It’s true that this unfortunate and utterly unjust measure to shut the TV station down occurred during the days when the old “communist” government was on its way out in Croatia and the new one coming in last week, but this move by the e-media demonstrates clearly that public institutions are very much saturated with politics and need swift stripping down… If Croatia’s relevant laws or regulations permit a government agency such as e-media to shut down a public media outlet overnight, on basis of opinions about opinions expressed by journalists, without testing those opinions in a court of justice, then Croatia had during the mandate of the former communist-prone government of Zoran Milanovic slipped further back into the dark ages when the same people were your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner! Very disturbing, indeed.
Protest for freedom of speech
for support of journalist
Marko Juric and Z1TV is
“bigger than Ben Hur” on
26 January 2016 Zagreb Croatia
Way to go!
Photo: Boris Kovacev/CroPix
It goes without saying: generally laws against inciting hatred should be universal and prohibit all incitements to hatred – not just some. And so, how come the doors of that Serb Orthodox church in Zagreb still remain open despite the fact that their priests and leaders incite hatred – incite or glorify murder of Croats through songs they sing at festive official receptions, soirées, etc.!
Singling out sides like the Croatian e-media has in this case creates resentment among people who are not protected by laws of hate speech or incitement to hatred – in this case it seems Croatians are not protected from Serb Orthodox priests singing praise to Chetniks who murdered many thousands innocent Croats through history but especially painful murders are the most recent ones from 1990’s, which is bad for community cohesion, to say the least. Everyone should be equal before the law, in which case all incitements of hatred should be an offense, however, fair comments must not be confused as hate speech and where politics drive agendas fair comments will often be presented as hate speech and the government instruments should be there to prevent this.
Under the condition of clearly marking hate speech there are sound arguments to justify a prohibition on inciting hatred as it is deemed to be a method of protecting people and creating a social atmosphere where subjects of hatred have redress against their tormentors. Another argument for protection against hate speech is that hatred is the gateway to discrimination, harassment and violence. It is without a doubt the psychological foundation for serious, harmful criminal acts. On these grounds, laws against inciting hatred are ethically justified and have practical benefits as long as they do not tolerate “trigger happy” individuals who take the law into their own hands such as the heads of e-media in Croatia have these past days.
Many thousands line the streets of Zagreb
calling for sacking of heads of e-medija Croatia
16 January 2016
The downside of incitement to hatred prohibitions (laws), of course, is that they seriously risk infringing freedom of speech. Who decides what constitutes hatred? Where do you draw the line between legitimate robust criticism and satire, and illegitimate, criminal incitement of hatred? It isn’t simple and straightforward anywhere except, it seems, in Croatia (and other former communist Yugoslavia countries) where lustration has not been implemented and die-hard communists still hold important positions from which they can do as they please. The move to shut down Z1 TV for what Marko Juric said, out of his duty as a public journalist, in order to show the public the hatred still being spread through the Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia is a terrible betrayal of Croatian people and justice. The heads of e-media in Croatia should be sacked forthwith! The head of Mirjana Rakic, head of e-medija, must roll! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)
News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.