New York, March 3, 2003—A bomb destroyed the vehicle of Nino Pavic, an influential independent newspaper publisher, on the morning of Saturday, March 1, in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb.
According to local and international press reports, the 50-year-old publisher and his family were sleeping in their home in the affluent suburb of Tuskanac when a bomb placed under their Mercedes SUV exploded at around 4 a.m. The car was parked down the street from their house.
Pavic—along with Germany’s powerful Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) media group—is the co-owner of Europapress Holding (EPH), Croatia’s largest newspaper publisher.
A number of journalists at EPH’s popular weekly Globus were threatened after a series of articles about the criminal activities of several mafia groups were published in the paper during the last few months.
The police have initiated a criminal investigation into the bombing and are also examining the threats made against Globus journalists. Pavic’s home is currently under 24-hour police protection.
“This bombing could have serious consequences for press freedom in Croatia,” said Joel Simon, acting director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “We call on Croatian authorities to investigate this case aggressively and to do everything in their power to ensure that journalists are able to work without fear of intimidation or attack.”