The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed condemnation after members of a far-right political party burned an issue of a Serbian publication in Zagreb, Croatia.
On 2 September, Autochthonous Croatian Party of Right (A-HSP) members gathered in Zagreb to protest the potential removal of a controversial memorial plaque with a fascist (Ustasa) slogan ‘Za dom spremni’ (‘Ready for the Home(land)’) which was installed by Croatian war veterans (veterans from the war in Former Yugoslavia 1991-1995) and right-wing politicians in Jasenovac. The plaque commemorates 11 fighters who died during the 1990s war. Jasenovac was a concentration camp in the World War II.
The president of this party, Drazen Keleminec (Dražen Keleminec), symbolically set a copy of the newspaper Novosti on fire. Novosti is a weekly issued by the Serb National Council (SNV), the coordinator of Serb national minority councils in Croatia.
“SEEMO deeply condemns the behavior of A-HSP representatives and calls on authorities in Croatia to show a more legitimate reaction in light of this nationalist and hatred enticing incident” Oliver Vujovic SEEMO Secretary General said today. “It is unacceptable for any political party in the country to express such a volatile attitude and not even be truly condemned by the government, which shows that Croatia still has a long way to go, and needs to pursue democratic standards, instead of remaining quiet in the face of open hate speech” Vujovic added.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.