Statement of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists (SZDN) on the attack on the Nova24tv team at a protest rally on 16 October:
»The Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists is appalled by the incident that took place at so called political bike rally on Friday, October 16th, 2020, in the evening, when a well-known political activist Zlatan Čordić stole a camera from a cameraman from the Nova24tv journalist team. The association strongly condemns the attack and believes that the prosecution should prosecute the attacker according to the law. Attacks on journalists and cameramen, especially physical attacks, are something that should not be happening. Journalists must be able to do their job. This attack is particularly incomprehensible, as the target was a cameraman who does not create content and the Nova24TV program, but only records what is happening through the lens.
We understand that journalists are often exposed to perpetrators of various crimes in their work, and it should be noted that witnesses were also present at this specific crime and that the perpetrator is a well-known person in public. However, it is incomprehensible that the police did not act as they should; they should immediately arrest the thief, who also obstructed journalistic work with his act, and confiscate his stolen item, which, by the way, is not cheap. Such conduct raises a reasonable suspicion that perpetrators of criminal offences are more protected than victims, apparently also because of the »appropriate« political background. We expect the attack to be investigated and that the perpetrator will be held accountable for his action.
It should be remembered that this is not the first incident in which this same activist was involved. At this year's celebration of National Day, he broke into a protected area with a megaphone and tried to disrupt the national celebration.
We demand that the police take consistent action against the perpetrators of criminal offenses, as the event also took place at a time when public gatherings are not allowed, and the rally was, above all, unreported. If no action is taken, we call on the government to do everything possible to enforce the rule of law and protect victims of crime, otherwise Slovenia will finally become a menagerie where the argument of power will rule instead of the power of argument.
Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists
Jože Biščak, president of SZDN
Ljubljana, 17 October 2020«