Anti-War protest: Crimes in Storm Operation are Responsibility of Us All

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Participating in the rally were representatives of the Centre for Women Victims of War – ROSA, the Centre for Civil Courage, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, the Association for Social Research and Communications from Sarajevo, and the Women’s Network of Croatia, who expressed solidarity with all victims of war and war crimes.

“We cannot understand the irresponsible behaviour of Croatian politicians when it comes to dealing with the past. The current political leadership in Croatia does not show sincerity, humility and respect for the victims of crimes, for the people who were killed,” said Nela Pamuković of the Centre for Women Victims of War.

Until Croatia faces the war crimes committed in Operation Storm, it has no right to point the finger at others, the protesters said.

According to the protesting NGOs, during and in the aftermath of Operation Storm more than 600 civilians are estimated to have been killed and more than 22,000 houses were burned, while about 150,000 Croatian citizens fled the country and their return was systematically discouraged and prevented for years.

No peaceful future without acknowledging past mistakes

“We oppose the state’s denial of the facts and warn that our fellow citizens of Serb ethnicity were killed, their property was looted and destroyed, their family members were expelled, and their return was de facto prevented for decades,” said Pamuković.

There are no prospects for a peaceful future in a society that is based on not acknowledging its mistakes from the past. Protests and incidents show that our society is still divided, she added.

During the half-hour protest some passers-by protested against the activists, some took pictures of their banners and talked to the activists, some expressed their displeasure and displayed counter-banners, and cursed the activists, calling them a “Chetnik gang.”

Ana Gvozdić of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights believes that the fact that many people are against their protest shows how poorly the public is aware of the crimes committed against civilians, and that this is the problem they have been warning about, demanding that state institutions enable the right to truth and justice for the victims and for society.


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