Courts urged to stop persecuting Ljubljana daily
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||9 September 2009|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Courts urged to stop persecuting Ljubljana daily, 9 September 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4aae3ff91e.html [accessed 19 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Reporters Without Borders is appalled by Ljubljana judge Katarina Novsak Kaplandu's decision on appeal on 4 September to uphold the month-old injunction forbidding the daily Dnevnik to print any negative comment about Italian businessman Pierpaolo Cerani or his business activities (see the 19 August release http://www.rsf.org/Court-injunction...).
The judge said in her ruling that not only the facts were at issue, but also the way they were reported. Dnevnik could "continue to speak about Mr. Cerani, as other news media do, but only using appropriate vocabulary, without offensive or negative words and without using a tone that attacked his honour, reputation or dignity in an intolerable manner," she said.
She also insisted that the public interest was not jeopardised by the injunction as the public continued to be informed about Cerani's activities.
"The judge's comments are absolutely surreal and unacceptable in a European Union member country," Reporters Without Borders said. "If the facts reported by Dnevnik are true, it is free to report them in whatever tone and using whatever words it likes," Reporters Without Borders said. "It is not a judge's job to take a position on how well journalists write. She must have a strange view of her role if she suggests that accuracy is less important than the way the facts are presented.
"Similarly, how can she claim that the public interest is not threatened or that the public continues to be properly informed when the press is only allowed to write positively about Cerani and his business activities? Maintaining the injunction against Dnevnik is clearly an act of censorship, one that is unacceptable in a country that held the EU's rotating president just a year ago."
Reporters Without Borders added: "We urge Ljubljana's highest courts to lift the injunction without delay and to allow Dnevnik and the rest of the Slovenian press to cover all aspects of the country's economic activity freely. How can the EU hope to be able to set an example to the rest of the world if the courts in one of its member countries force a newspaper to print only positive news?"