ZAGREB, January 8 (Hina) – Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) parliamentary deputy and HVIDRA war veterans’ association leader Josip Đakić on Tuesday condemned in the strongest terms an anti-Serb post which his son Ivan Đakić put on his private Facebook wall, and apologised for the shameful and insulting content of the post, whereas his son decided to leave the HDZ which his father sees as an act whereby his son admits to having made a huge mistake.
“Following the shameful and insulting post on the private Facebook profile of HDZ member and my son Ivan Đakić, I hereby condemn in the strongest terms such conduct on the part of any HDZ member, including my son, and I apologise and express my regret at the incident and the thoughtless conduct of the young man, who was not brought up to hate or spread hate speech,” reads Josip Đakić’s statement.
The 22-year-old Ivan Đakić on Monday posted on his Facebook wall a shocking photograph showing a person wearing Ustasha insignia holding the severed head of a person wearing Chetnik insignia. “Merry Christmas to all the Serb ‘friends’,” he wrote under the photograph.
On Monday evening, the HDZ condemned the post and said it would launch disciplinary proceedings against Đakić as his conduct was contrary to the party statute.
Ivan Đakić deleted the post soon after making it public. In a statement to the Index web portal, which contacted him, he admitted to having posted the photograph, adding that he apologised to all whom he had insulted. “I shared a friend’s post and deleted it after one minute. That is not my opinion and I apologise to all whom I have insulted and wish them a merry Christmas,” Đakić said.
On Tuesday morning, Ivan Đakić resigned from the HDZ branch in Virovitica. His father interprets this as his son’s admission that he made a mistake.
Ivan Đakić was taken in by the police in Virovitica, 150 kilometres northeast of Zagreb, on Tuesday for questioning over hate speech in his Facebook post.
The leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) Milorad Pupovac on Tuesday strongly condemned the Facebook post written by Đakić. Pupovac expressed doubt that judicial authorities would prosecute that incident ex officio.
The SDSS leader insists that the incident also amounted to glorification of the Ustasha regime and was an insult to the victims of that 1941-1945 Nazi-allied regime, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years.
Pupovac said that the situation in the judiciary did not instil any optimism about the outcome of the prosecution of that incident. “There is too much tolerance for such things,” said Pupovac, adding that such messages are being made despite messages from the state leadership and the attendance of the prime minister and ministers at the Orthodox Christmas reception and the meeting between President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović and Serb Orthodox Church dignitaries in Croatia.
Pupovac said that the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic enjoyed his support. As for the forthcoming meeting of the ruling coalition, Pupovac expressed hope that all relevant topics, including the incident involving Ivan Đakić, would be on the agenda.
More news on the status of Serbs in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.