petek, 20. marec 2015

Slovenian photojournalist sentenced to five months prison for taking photos of the former PM

By Igor Kršinar

The former Slovenian freelance photojournalist Jani Božič was given a suspended sentence for the period of five months prison for taking photos of the then Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek while she was reading a message on her mobile phone. After that he published this snapshot on his webportal Podlupo.net where it could be seen that Ms Bratušek received a congratulation message from the prominent Slovenian businessman Peter Kraljič twenty minutes before the official announcement of her election as PM. After the publishing of this photo Ms Bratušek visited the police and criminally charged Božič for breaching the confidentiality of the media. The case was taken over by state prosecution and after nine months of trial he was found guilty and sentenced to five months of prison conditionally for the period of two years. His attorney Radovan Cerjak announced an appeal on the second level court.

Despite the fact that accused photojournalist and his attorney both warned the first level court that such photos are published in another European media without legal consequences – for example in Great Britain, Italy, Germany and Croatia - the judge didn’t follow the defence. The judge said that she didn’t know above mentioned European cases but she was obliged to judge in line with Slovenian legislation which doesn’t allow such deeds. The Slovenian public, especially journalists, were appalled because of this sentence. The Association of the journalists and commentators called for changes to the Slovenian Penal Code in such directions that journalists wouldn’t be punished for their work any more. This requirement has been supported also by the newly established Initiative for the Freedom of Speech which also warned from an increasing restriction of the freedom of speech and certain convictions of some journalists in Slovenia in recent years.

Jani Božič lives with his family in London where he now works as a photographer. He was forced to leave his homeland due to the pressure he was exposed to because of his work. If his conviction will be confirmed also by the Higher Court this would mean that Slovenian politicians have more personal rights than their colleagues in other European countries, and that Slovenian journalists have less media freedom than their colleagues in the U. K., Italy, Germany and Croatia.

See also:



sreda, 14. januar 2015

Two Slovenian Candidates for the next Charlie Hebdo

By Igor Kršinar
“What has happened today in Paris is nothing in comparisson to what is awaiting for the Janšistic bullshiters from Reporter and Demokracija in the near future. They should be prepared for it. In the first place Gašper Blažič, who’s gonna be mounted on a pole personally by myself.” This was written on the Facebook by unknown person hidden behind a profile Zakladnik Matija (Treasurer Matija) on Wednesday, 7 January, just a few hours after the terrorist attack on the Charlie weekly offices in Paris. Attached to the profile there was a photo of the former Slovenian head of the communist secrete police Ozna/Udba Ivan Maček Matija who died in 1993. Under his leadership Slovenian branch of Ozna organised mass murders of political opponents after the Second World War. After his withdrawal from this post he still remained the most important person in Udba. Being responsible for finances he was some kind of treasurer.

It is obvious that someone who is still a supporter of the communist regime before 1990 despite the horrible crimes committed after WW2 and later threatens to journalists of the independent weekly magazines Reporter and Demokracija who are devoted to European parliamentary democracy and conservative-liberal values. All Slovenians who share the same political values as the European People’s Party are marked by leftist extremists as Janšists, supporters of the head of SDS Party Janez Janša. And the Janšists are supposed to be fascists. The user “Treasurer Matija” also believes that the terrorist attack in Paris was organised by the French special police forces to put the blame on Muslims. According to him, the same happened in New York in 2001 when the so called American imperialists organised the terrorist attack on WTC to start a war against Islam.

The most exposed journalist Gašper Blažič writes for the weekly magazine Demokracija. He lives in the neighbouring village of a 73 years old woman who responded to “Matija” that the pole for mounting doesn’t have to be too sharp because this would cause even more pain for this journalist. This woman introduced herself as a member of staff of Positive Slovenia, a left-aligned party led by Ljubljana mayor Zoran Janković. Just a few minutes after the public have been informed about these threats, the profile of “Treasurer Matija” disappeared from Facebook. Irrespective of that, the police was informed and the investigation was launched. As the police said no other Slovenian media has been threatened. It is not clear if the state prosecution would file an indictment against suspects, but it is obvious that Slovenian freedom of the press is threatened by far left extremists.

See also:

Reporter: "Zakladnik Matija" bi novinarje Reporterja in Demokracije natikal na kol

PlanetSiol.net: Na Facebooku grožnje s smrtjo novinarjem Demokracije in Reporterja

RTV.SLO: Grožnje s smrtjo Reporterju in Demokraciji sprožile obsodbe

Demokracija: »Jaz sem novinar Demokracije«

Reporter: Na shodu Odbora 2014: Je Suis Kršinar, Lavre, Petek


Related texts:

Udba still prosecutes Slovenian journalists

The former Udba chief Silvo Gorenc prosecutes journalists

The honour and good name of Mr. Janez Zemljarič

Photographer Jani Božič prosecuted by the former SlovenianPM Alenka Bratušek

 



nedelja, 04. januar 2015

Photographer Jani Božič prosecuted by the former Slovenian PM Alenka Bratušek

By Igor Kršinar
Waiting for results of voting of the new PM designate Alenka Bratušek was sitting in the Slovenian Parliament when she got the following message on her mobile phone: “Dear Ms. Bratušek, heartfelt congratulations and a lot of success for your challenging role. Receive my greetings from Moscow. Peter Kraljič.” Right this moment the freelance photographer Jani Božič, who, among other colleagues, covered the session of the Slovenian National Assembly from a balcony, took a photo of the future Prime Minister of Slovenia. In a detailed review of this snapshot he figured out that the prominent Slovenian businessman sent a congratulation message 20 minutes before the official announcement of the results. Jani Božič decided to publish this snapshot on his web portal Podlupo.net with the above mentioned footnote. That day, on 27 February 2013, Alenka Bratušek was elected for the new Slovenian Prime Minister in a confidential vote in which her predecessor Janez Janša was resolved from this post.
For the photographer dire straits started. After he had published a photo of Bratušek’s message on his web portal he lost the accreditation card for the National Assembly. Its office led by Secretary General Mojca Prelesnik also informed the newly elected Prime Minister about the violation of her personal rights by the photographer Jani Božič. Alenka Bratušek visited a police station and criminally charged him for breaching the confidentiality of media. The case was taken over by the state prosecution and after several months an indictment against Božič was filed. According to the Slovenian Penal Code the photographer could be punished by fine or by imprisonment up to one year. The trial started in April 2014 at the Ljubljana District Court. Three hearings have been held at which three different prosecutors led an indictment against the photographer. The first two hearings passed without the accused and the “victim”. The Prime Minister Bratušek was absent due to her political obligations while Jani Božič moved out from Slovenia. Since he experienced many threats because of his work he couldn’t do his job in Slovenia, so he decided to move with his family to London where he has been continuing his work as a photographer.
In December, just two days before Christmas, both of them attended the third hearing at the court. Jani Božič (his surname in Slovenian language means Christmas) with his family visited the homeland and defended himself from the indictment. Alenka Bratušek, now the former PM since the new government was taken over by Miro Cerar, the winner of snap elections, still insisted on criminal prosecution of Jani Božič. She stated that he breached her privacy and that she hadn’t allowed anybody to read her messages. On the contrary, Božič explained to the court that he just did his work as well as his colleagues anywhere in Europe. He added that such snapshots as he had taken are published in tones everywhere in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in Italy as well as in Slovenia. As the evidence his attorney Radovan Cerjak filed articles from British, Italian, German and Croatian media where similar photos of politicians’ messages were published.
In the UK, the daily newspaper The Telegraph published in April 2009 a snapshot of confidential documents revealed by the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears as she walked along Downing Street. In Italy, the daily newspaper La Repubblica published in November 2011 many snapshots of a letter written by then PM Silvio Berlusconi to two of his female MPs inviting them for coffee during the session of the Parliament. The same newspaper also published many photos of a letter written by then MP Enrico Letta (the later Italian PM) offering himself to become a minister in then PM Designate Mario Monti’s government. Different Croatian web portals published in November 2013 a pornographic message on the mobile phone written by Romana Mihaljević, the head of one of the departments of the council of the Osijek-Baranja Region, during the session of the regional Assembly. Her porn message was published also in Serbian, Bosnian as well as in Slovenian web media. The German daily tabloid Bild published in September 2014 a snapshot of the mobile phone of MP Christoph Bergner watching a Playboy-Bunny during the session of the Bundestag. These cases confirm that media freedom in other EU countries is wider than in Slovenia despite common European jurisdiction. In case that the photographer Jani Božič is found guilty of the above mentioned accusations at all level of the Slovenian rule of law he could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. This would be a real challenge for all European media.
Bild: Playboy Gucker im Bundestag