DOSSIER PERATOVIĆ VI: You can’t fight the system alone
Translation: Fairpress
Ante Leskur, MD, Psychiatrist, who holds psychotherapy group meetings (Anti-Mobbing Programme) in Zagreb as part of his practice, gave us his expert opinion about the things that victims of mobbing go through.

Doctor Ante Leskur explained: “the term ‘mobbing’ is usually accompanied by the term ‘change’. That is the most common denominator of all harassments. Change is happens in most cases after the election of new management (owner, director, manager).” According to doctor Ante Leskur “workplace harassment leads to professional, psychological, social and family ‘homicide’ of the employee. The unwanted expert is placed to work in an inadequate, degrading space, to set the example for others. The person who is the victim of mobbing slowly comes to realise what is happening and begins to experience various psychosomatic reactions: insomnia, nausea, ‘foretelling’ dreams of danger, dysfunctionality of (all) organic systems, irritableness at home, lack of concentration, public and private withdrawal, loss of self-esteem, degradation of (all) partner relations, activation of latent psychosis is even possible.”

In the case of workplace mobbing there is a “feeling of being haunted, helplessness, despair, abandonment, depression, resignation, suicidal thoughts, etc. Accumulated stress from e.g. harassment in the workplace causes dramatic changes in the prefrontal cortex, area responsible for self-control, emotions, physiological functions. Stress causes the person to lose touch with his emotions, alongside with insensitivity of actions and interactions with other people. Neurochemical changes during stress lead to weakening of associative upper cortical functions (‘deconcentration’) “, explains Ante Leskur, MD.

For Fairpress Peratović recalled those events and the way they affected him:

“After Karamarko’s appointment as the Director of POA, colleagues started to avoid me. Every morning I had a knot in my stomach while going to the office. I didn’t know who would say hi to me that day and who wouldn’t. The same situation was in the street, in press conferences, in public spaces where there were other journalists present. They avoided me. Looked away. Changed topics when I was around. Most of the colleagues, in the office and outside it, who I used to hang out talk to before, go for a beer, stopped contacting me. It became clear to me that I was being marginalised in every possible way. I managed to cope with the situation somehow and continued to work as before. Until summer of 2005.

I think it was around July of 2005 that Krunoslav Prates was arrested in Germany, under the suspicion that he had participated in the killing of Stjepan Đureković, and it was suspected that he had been

working under the orders of former heads of Yugoslav security service Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač. The country was shaken up again. In circles close to the ruling castes there was noticeable nervousness, because Mustač, and especially Perković had knowledge about some of Croatia’s biggest and most buried secrets. I had a feeling it was an important topic so I suggested, at the editorial meeting, to do an article about it. It was accepted. Considering how it was a hot topic, at first I didn’t go into the details of the matter. I simply called the witnesses of that time – Perković, Boljkovac, Manolić and Gaži and composed an article from their statements. Perković, the same as Karamarko the year earlier, failed to give me a statement, saying that he was busy and I should call him the next day. But the next day he was already away for business, i.e., not available.

However, all in all, I was pleased. The text was handed in on time. The next day I started to go through Vjesnik as usual, however, my text wasn’t there. I called Nada Dmitrović who told me that ‘Andrea  read the article’ and that it’s not going to be published. I then asked where Andrea Latinović was because she owed me an explanation why the article wasn’t going to be published, but no one told me where she was or how I could get a hold of her. I feld bad, because I thought that it was quality material. On the staff meeting, where the editor in chief didn’t show up again, I asked Vodopija, assistant editor and colleague, could I do an interview with Pavle Gaži regarding the topic of Đureković killing. Vodopija looked at me blankly and asked why I was under the impression that the interview would be published if my previous article with statements wasn’t? I got the message. I asked him whether it was OK to do the interview and publish it somewhere else? Vodopija just briefly said OK. That is what I did.

After work I sat in the car and drove to Koprivnica. I did the interview with Pavle Gaži, took the photos and send it to Ivančić in Feral. Ivančić confirmed that the material was good and that he was going to publish it. However, as soon as that issue of Feral was published I had a phone call from the newsroom and they told me that they had held an editorial meeting about me, that everybody’s mad at me and my future doesn’t look bright. I tried to find out what the real story was by asking people who knew about the circumstances surrounding the Perković case as well as the current situation in the country. I remember what Manolić said to me then: ‘Well listen, it’s all because of Karamarko and Perković, you can’t fight the system alone ‘.

That was the way my journalist career ended in Vjesnik, in August of 2005, exactly a year after the agony began. They terminated my contract. The verdict in the case for mobbing is basically a review of the events that took place during that year.



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