Annual Report: Croatia 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Croatia 2013

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The appeal procedure on the 2011 judgement on Momčilo Perišić started in October and had not concluded by the end of the year. The Tribunal had sentenced him to 27 years’ imprisonment for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was convicted on the basis of individual criminal responsibility in BiH, and on the basis of superior criminal responsibility in Croatia, the latter in relation to the shelling of Zagreb.

In November, the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal acquitted two generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač. The Appeals Chamber reversed their convictions for crimes against humanity and war crimes, for which they had received sentences of 24 and 18 years. The verdict resonated strongly in region, prompting a surge in nationalistic rhetoric in both Croatia and Serbia. While the two generals were welcomed back to Croatia by government officials, human rights defenders in the region reiterated the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for the crimes committed against Serb civilians between 1991 and 1995.

Discrimination

Roma continued to face discrimination in access to economic and social rights, including education, employment and housing. Measures undertaken by the authorities remained insufficient. The authorities failed to implement the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling to end segregation of Romani children in schools.

Croatian Serbs continued to face discrimination, mainly in relation to housing and employment.

Hate crimes

Legal protection against homophobic and transphobic hate crimes was improved; amendments to the Criminal Code adopted in 2012 included gender identity as a ground for prosecution of hate crimes. However, with no specific guidelines for police, physical attacks against LGBTI people were sometimes classified as minor offences, while alleged hate motives were often not investigated.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Croatia in February, March and June.
  • The right to know: Families still left in the dark in the Balkans (EUR 05/001/2012)
  • Inadequate protection: Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in Croatia (EUR 64/001/2012)
  • Protection of LGBT people must go beyond the Pride (EUR 64/004/2012)
  • Medak Pocket arrests: Senior officials must be investigated (PRE01/119/2012)