“It is by no means normal practice for uniformed police officers to enter the premises of an autonomous media outlet and search for an individual journalist. This has never happened before and should not happen in democratic societies,” the Association of Journalists and Publicists was critical after Jože Možina, a long-time journalist at the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS), who is not one of those who “there is f*cking more of,” reported that two uniformed police officers were recently looking for him, as the editor of the show Interview (Intervju), at RTVS.
“Today, two uniformed police officers came looking for me at RTV, as the editor of the show Interview. Is this called intimidation, political pressure on a journalist, the road to dictatorship, an attack on freedom of speech… or is there another term for it? Is this the new standard of FREEDOM at RTV Slovenia?” read Dr Jože Možina’s critical response to Thursday’s action at RTVS that he published on Twitter. He then also told our media outlet Nova24TV that it is clear that this is a political story and that he will definitely not allow anyone to intimidate him.
“Yesterday, two uniformed police officers were looking for the editor of the television show Interview, Dr Jože Možina, at the reception of the main entrance to the building of the public media RTV Slovenia, and then obtained his contact information, which is publicly available. However, no one from the police contacted the journalist directly – at the time or afterwards,” the Association of Journalists and Publicists, of which Dr Matevž Tomšič is the President, said in its opening statement, adding that journalist Možina thus had no idea what could have been the reason for the police to enter the premises of the media outlet in the first place.
A demonstration of the power of a repressive authority
The Association went on to note that the police had explained what was happening to the media outlet Slovenian News (Slovenske novice), saying that it was all just normal procedure. “What’s more, they even reversed the story, in the sense that Možina’s public post about what was happening was ‘pressure’ on the police,” they were critical. In their words, this case is “an incredible situation that was a clear demonstration of power of the repressive organ of the current government towards a renowned, award-winning journalist and historian, who, thanks to his broadcasts and research, has long been a thorn in the side of the now-ruling centres of power”.
This should not happen in democratic societies
As they pointed out, it is by no means normal practice for uniformed police officers to enter the premises of an autonomous media outlet and search for an individual journalist. “This has never happened before and should not happen in democratic societies,” they were clear. “Imagine what the reaction would have been if something similar had happened during the previous government’s term of office,” they went on to add, calling on the perpetrators of these acts to stop them immediately, as well as calling on police officers to resist the attempts of others to abuse their duties.
The attitude of the current management of the national media outlet, Radio-Television Slovenia, is also very telling and worrying, they said, as the management team has not reacted to the excesses of the police towards RTV’s journalist and apparently agrees with such behaviour of the police.