Dear Mr. Orešković,
The Youth Initiative for Human Rights as one of the leading human rights organizations in Croatia and the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement as a leading European network against nationalism, racism and other exclusive ideologies gathering non-governmental organizations in over 30 European countries wish to express our concern about the proposal to name Zlatko Hasanbegović and Mijo Crnoja members of the Croatian Government.
These two men are not fit to be members of Government in a democratic, open and tolerant society. Their views and ideological backgrounds are in direct collision with the standards of democracy and the human rights values that you and any public official in Croatia have to uphold and respect.
Naming them members of Government sends a message that the future Government – your Government – will systematically deteriorate the standards of respect towards human rights.
Mr. Hasanbegović very directly relativizes one of the main values on which Croatia and the European Union were built on – the civilizational struggle against Fascism and Nazism. Even further, he chooses to side with the historical proponents of an ideology that is responsible for some of the most gruesome and mass human rights violations in the history of Europe and the world. If you wish to start your mandate with respect towards the values inscribed in the Croatian Constitution, you must not allow that he becomes a member of the Croatian Government.
Mr. Crnoja announced that he will build a registry of national traitors. This is a mechanism of oppression that no democratic state should allow. Mr. Crnoja’s announcement is a call to create a mechanism parallel to the Croatian justice system, but one that is not founded on the principles of justice. Rather, it is founded on the principle of exclusion and persecution. This would allow that anyone who is arbitrarily seen as opposing the Government’s view of national interest is publicly denounced in a process that would resemble a witch-hunt. Again, if you do not wish to base your authority on fear and suppression of the opposition, you must not allow him to become a member of Government.
We urge you to reconsider and withdraw your proposal to name them members of the Croatian Government. Otherwise, you will choose to install fear and a system of persecution on one hand and to disregard and violate the values of human rights, peace and justice. Otherwise, Mr. Orešković, you will be directly responsible for turning Croatia into a proLFascist police state governed by fear and persecution.
Mr. Orešković, do everything you can to prevent that the Croatian citizens are afraid to openly share their ideas and views. We urge you not to allow the installment of a system that takes us back to some of the darkest times of our history.
If you fail to do this, you will directly send a message that you stand against civic rights, liberty and democracy. You will become a leader of a repressive Government. We sincerely hope that this is not what you wish to do.
Benjamin Abtan, President, EGAM
Morana Starčević, Executive Director, YIHR
Read the article on the YIHR website.
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