Minister Ivica Kirin
Ministry of the Interior, Republic of Croatia
Via fax: +385 1/6122 452
Dear Minister Kirin,
I write you today on behalf of the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) to ask that you order a thorough investigation into the homophobic incidents that occurred during the Pride March in Zagreb on July 7, 2007 and, just as important, that you publicly denounce these incidents.
IGLHRC joins with the organizers of Zagreb Pride in commending the Zagreb Police for trying to provide police protection to the participants during the march on July 7, 2007; this was an important step in showing that Croatia understands the importance of free assembly and expression for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as for the many allies who marched in support of those rights.
At the same time, IGLHRC wants to reinforce the two main concerns expressed by local organizers: that the police failed to prevent at least 30 homophobic attacks that took place after the march, and that police failed to respond appropriately to reports by individuals who were subjected to homophobic incidents, including hate crimes.
IGLHRC asks that you also investigate the following reported incidents:
- Improper police conduct in regards to recording a complaint from a group that includes Marko Jurčić and Franko Dota from the Zagreb Organizing Committee and Mitja Blažič from DIH-Slovenia at Zagreb police station I, Strossmayerjev trg 3, on July 7, 2007.
- Text message death threats received by Franko Dota to his cell phone on July 9 and the subsequent street attack by a group of people who came out of the soccer club Dinamo Zagreb on July 10.
- The attack on a member of Iskorak, Viktor Zahtila, in the center of Zagreb during the night of July 11-12.
In addition to these specific incidents, IGLHRC is also concerned by a report that on July 7 up to 60 people wearing fascist symbols and singing ?Kill Fags? went unchallenged by the police in Zagreb. The Zagreb Pride Committee has documented these incidents which are readily available on
their website www.zagreb-pride.net/j/.
We are extremely concerned about these events and look forward to receiving your response to these aforementioned concerns.
cc: Marko Jurčić, Zagreb Pride Organizing Committee
Mitja Blažič, Association for the Integration of Homosexuality (DIH) Slovenia.
IGLHRC works is to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV
status. A US-based nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, IGLHRC effects this mission through advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance.
Published on July 13, 2007 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization