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Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2008


(Washington, DC) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairmen of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), issued the following statement on the car bomb attack, which killed the owner and editor-in-chief of Nacional, Ivo Pukanic and his Marketing Director Niko Franjic in Zagreb, Croatia.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the heinous murders of Ivo Pukanic and Niko Franjic and send our condolences to their families at this difficult time,” said Co-Chairmen Hastings and Cardin. “We call on the authorities to exhaust all options and investigate fully the facts surrounding this cowardly act. Those responsible must be held fully accountable for their actions.

“A free media is the personification of freedom of expression at work. In this case, freedom of expression came at a grave price. Journalism is not only a difficult profession, but can be a deadly one too. The rule of law must prevail in Croatia and those journalists, who put their lives on the line each and every day to keep citizens abreast of the decisions of their government and other events in their country, must be protected.”

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
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