News 11 Jun 14

Croatians Protest Against Church Honouring War Criminal

Protesters rallied in front of the cathedral in Zagreb against Catholic bishops’ alleged ‘glorification’ of the homecoming of recently-released Bosnian Croat war criminal Dario Kordic.

Josip Ivanovic
BIRN
Zagreb
Protesters outside the cathedral in Zagreb.

The protesters lined up outside the cathedral on Monday evening, each carrying a placard bearing the name of one of the victims of a 1993 massacre in Ahmici in central Bosnia, for which Kordic was jailed for 25 years by the Hague Tribunal.

They staged the protest after Kordic arrived in Croatia on Friday after serving two-thirds of his sentence, and was welcomed at Zagreb airport by some 200 supporters including Vlado Kosic, a Catholic bishop from Sisak.

Another welcome-home ceremony for Kordic was organised in front of the cathedral in Zagreb, a day after his arrival, following a church service held in his honour by bishop Valentin Pozaic.

One of the protesters, Eugen Jakovcic, from local human rights NGO Documenta - Centre for Dealing With the Past, said that war criminals should not be celebrated as heroes.

“We are gathered in front of the cathedral to send a different message from that seen at the airport last Friday, and we really believe that it is unacceptable to call someone a ‘knight’ and warmly welcome a person who has encouraged, planned and organised such a serious crime in which more than 100 civilians lost their lives,” said Jakovcic.

“This gathering was initiated by ordinary citizens due to the image shown in front of the cathedral in Zagreb, where a service was held by bishop Pozaic to honour Kordic,” Jakovcic added.

Kordic was convicted as a former leader of the self-proclaimed wartime statelet called the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna for “planning and instigating the crimes which occurred in Ahmici on 16 April 1993 and its associated hamlets Santici, Pirici and Nadioci at ethnically cleansing the area” by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in 2004.

Judgements at the Hague Tribunal have said that Herceg-Bosna was founded with the intention of splitting the territory from Bosnia and Herzegovina and uniting it with a 'Greater Croatia'.

Six of its other leaders were convicted last year of taking part in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcibly removing Bosniaks, and sentenced to 111 years in total.

 
A protester holds up the name of one of the victims of the 1993 killigs in Ahmici. Photo: Josip Ivanovic.  

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Vukovar Anniversary 17 Nov 17

Justice Hopes Fade for Victims of Devastated Vukovar

News 14 Nov 17

Four Serbian Men Convicted of Torching US Embassy

news 13 Nov 17

Kosovo Court Upholds Serbian Church’s Right to Land

news 10 Nov 17

Kosovo Aids Families of Macedonia Shootout Convicts

News 07 Nov 17

Republika Srpska Postpones State Judiciary Referendum

News 06 Nov 17

Bosnian Serbs Put Referendum Decision on Ice

News 02 Nov 17

Macedonia Gives Kumanovo Gunmen Heavy Jail Terms

Feature 02 Nov 17

Macedonian Schools Work to Bridge Ethnic Divide

news 01 Nov 17

No War Crimes Evidence Against Kosovo Serb Minister

Background

serb-minority-rights-scripted-out-in-croatia-09-02-2015

Serb Minority Rights Scripted Out in Croatia

The muted response to the Croatian town of Vukovar’s decision to scrap controversial bilingual signs in Latin and Serb Cyrillic script suggests the EU has lost focus on minority rights, analysts claimed.

Croatian Dissident Feared Kidnap by Yugoslav Spies

The trial of Zdravko Mustac and Josip Perkovic, former Yugoslav spy chiefs accused of killing a Croatian émigré, heard that the victim repeatedly told his German lover that he was living in fear.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter