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Croatia3 June 2008

Zagreb daily’s crime correspondent beaten with baseball bat

Dusan Miljus, the Jutarnji List daily’s crime correspondent, is in hospital with a broken arm and concussion after two men aboard a motorcycle waylaid him outside his Zagreb apartment building last night and beat him with a baseball bat.

“His life is not in danger but we cannot for the time being offer an opinion on the gravity of his injuries,” police spokesperson Aleksandra Ljuba said.

In the past few days, Miljus had written about arms trafficking between the European Union and former Yugoslavia, naming people with alleged links to the criminal underworld. On 5 November 2007, he received a threatening message in the form of an obituary with his name and photo in another daily, Vecernji List, which apologised to him afterwards for allowing it to be published.

“We call for a police investigation, which - as far as we know - has not yet been ordered,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The authorities must do everything possible to identify those who ordered and carried out this attack, which could have had even more serious consequences for Miljus.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Croatia is a candidate for European Union membership and cannot allow this kind of attack on the press to take place without reacting.”

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