July / September 1998
- The Association of Workers Trade Unions of Croatia (URSH) condemned the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia (RH) to stop work in schools prior to the date planed for the end of the school year. URSH maintained that the Government, implementing the above-mentioned decision, denied the right of workers to strike guaranteed in the Constitution and International Conventions.
- Ms Vesna Alaburić, lawyer, submitted a suit to the Constitutional Court in which repeal of the Election Law from 1992 is demanded. Ms Alaburic argues that the Election Law from 1992 has not been passed through a majority voting system established as a norm in the Constitution and in the actual Parliamentary operating procedure. Furthermore, Ms Alaburić contends that this particular law should be repealed for the reason that it enables the election of "the twelve from the Diaspora". They are elected by a procedure, which is different from the one prescribed for Croatian citizens whose actual residence is in Croatia.
- The Croatian Party of Retired People, The Union of Croatian Retired People, The Society of Croatian Retired People, The Association of Croatian Retired People, The Social Democratic Party and Social Democratic Action of Croatia condemned the RH Government for not implementing the Constitutional Court decision on pension payments as well as for the not repaying the debts which the RH Government owe to retired persons.
- Ms Leni Fischer, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, contends that the Republic of Croatia has ratified all of the key Conventions of the Council of Europe. However, RH has not, according to Ms Fischer, still fulfilled the most important of 21 obligations. These include reform of the election law, freedom of media and expression, and respect for the rights of the minorities and ethnic groups.
- The research project titled "Monitoring and Awareness of Local Government towards Respect for Human Rights" was undertaken by the Centre for Citizens Initiatives, the Civil Committee for Human Rights, Group for Women's Rights B.a.B.e., and the Serbian Democratic Forum. One of the research findings is that in the area of Karlovac and Sisak-Moslavina County, property which was appropriated based on the Law on Temporary Take-over and Management of Property, has not been returned to its original owners. Furthermore, committees in charge of the implementation of the revived decisions on ownership are mishandling the issue. This practice creates a situation in which returnees of Serbian nationality cannot obtain the means for reconstruction of their houses, whilst the reconstruction process for "Croatian houses" is speeded up. The report reveals that there are numerous administrative barriers placed in front of returnees of Serbian nationality. According to the report it is possible to conclude that local officials are showing animosity towards Serbian returnees.
- The Group for Women's Human Rights B. a. B. e., Ms Anna Maria Gruenfelder from Zagreb, and Mr Fred Ziedler from Rijeka contend that Prof. Dr Zeljko Poljak in the article "Feminisation of Medicine" published in the "Medical Journal" is stirring up hatred towards women in order to diminish their position and role in society.
- Ms Johanna Bjorken, special investigator of Amnesty International for Croatia, considers Croatian officials to be ignoring criminal acts committed after the military/police action "Storm" and to be inactive in their sanctioning.
- The Liberal party (LS) and the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (HHO) consider the action of the Ministry of the Defence of RH in the case of Aldin Petric from Porec, who, because of his homosexuality, has been expelled from the army, to be unacceptable and unprofessional.
- Damir Kajin, Furio Radin, Aldo Skira, all members of parliament and Silvano Zilli, the head of the County Committee for the Italian National Community and other ethnic Communities in Istra County condemned the decision of the Ministry of Administration which ordered the removal of a sign in the Italian language on the building of the Istria County in Pazin. They maintain that the decision contradicts the Contract between Croatia and Italy on the rights of minorities, the European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages which Croatia has signed, and the still valid Regulation on the Means and Conditions of the Language from 1981.
- The Civil Committee for Human Rights condemns the statements made by representatives of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) and the Croatian Christian Democratic Union (HKDU) in which, without any evidence presented, Serb returnees are held responsible for the forest fires on the Adriatic coast.
- Mr Slobodan Budak, a lawyer from Zagreb, complained regarding the way the law suit against ex policeman Alen Vignjević developed. In November 1994 Vignjević demolished Budak's house in Karlobag. Mr Budak maintains that Croatian officials are obstructing the legal procedure and creating the preconditions for the expiring of the period set by the statute of limitation. This would allow for Vignjević to remain unpunished.
- Mr Tim Guldiman, OSCE spokesman, estimates that the return of Croatian Serbs to Croatia is slowing down due to the problems with the housing commissions and because of intimidation and abuse of Serbs. This is, according to the OSCE, a violation of the Programme for the Return of Displaced Persons and Refugees.
- Ms Tanya Domi, President of the Committee of Media Experts considered Croatian Television (HRT) reporting on the election campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to be problematic, with different parties unequally presented, and the Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ) placed in privileged position. In this way HRT violated election rules and regulations as well as the media regulations of the international community.
- The Group for Women's Human Rights B.a.B.e. condemns the decision of the Municipal Court in Split according to which Ms Jadranka Basić, a single mother, was imprisoned for illegally entering an empty flat in Split. B.a.B.e. maintain that, in this case, the sanction of imprisonment was too easily applied, against people from the margins of society and without social connection, influence and power.
Prepared by: Nina Krajačić
Centar za direktnu zaštitu ljudskih prava
Center for Direct Protection of Human Rights