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Croatian Correspondent for RFE/RL Gets Death Threat

(Prague, Czech Republic -- February 13, 2008) A correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Croatia, Drago Hedl, has received a death threat because of his reporting about the trial of a suspected Croatian war criminal.

Hedl, a veteran investigative reporter based in Osijek in Eastern Slavonia, has worked for RFE/RL 13 years and is also Deputy Editor of the Croatian weekly "Feral Tribune". He told RFE/RL today that he has in recent weeks received several anonymous threatening phone calls and regards the calls and yesterday's death threat as an escalating campaign of intimidation to stop his reporting. But, Hedl said: "I will not give up. I will continue to tell the truth about the war crimes in Osijek and those responsible for the killings of civilians."

Hedl has been reporting for the past two years about the protracted court case of Branimir Glavas, a main suspect, currently on trial with six others, for the murder of Serb civilians in Osijek in the 1990s war. He uncovered many details and facts of the Osijek war crimes and much of his material was introduced as evidence at the trial in Zagreb. Glavas, a militant rightwing politician, was released from prison in January, after being re-elected to the Croatian parliament in November 2007, thus gaining parliamentary immunity while his trial continues. Osijek is his home town and he has many supporters there.

Hedl has received international recognition for his work and in 2006 was the recipient of The Knight International Journalism Award given by The International Center for Journalists.

RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service (SSALS) broadcasts to the Balkans in the Bosnian, Serbian, Albanian, Macedonian and Montenegrin languages. Hedl's reports are also posted on the SSALS website.