Austrian Police Announce Resolute Action for Violations at Bleiburg

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 17, 2019 – Carinthia’s police on Thursday released an extensive action plan regarding the Bleiburg commemoration on Saturday and announced uncompromising action at even the slightest hint that the law might be broken.

If there is any disrespect of the law or threat to public peace, the police will act uncompromisingly and resolutely. That includes instantaneous arrest for breaches of the law which bans displaying prohibited insignia, a press release said.

Representatives from the Klangenfurt prosecutor’s office will be in the field to provide immediate arrest warrants as will representatives from the federal office for aliens which should contribute to increasing efficiency.

The press release, signed by the Carinthian police head of PR, Rainer Dionisio, said that 15,000 people are expected at the commemoration in the Loibach field near the town of Bleiburg, mostly from Croatia, with a smaller number coming from Austria, Switzerland and Germany, that is about 5,000 more than last year.

More police will be deployed this year considering that the event has come under the remit of the law on public gatherings after the Klangenfurt diocese refused to give its approval for Mass to be held during the commemoration.

About 410 police will be deployed, including members of special police units, as well as 10 guide dogs and two explosives experts, 2 helicopters and 12 Croatian police officers.

The police recalled that insignia, particularly from the period of the WWII Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and those of the Third Reich, are banned in Austria.

The increased number of law enforcement officers by one-third in comparison with last year is also due to the significantly higher number of participants expected, the press release said.

On the other hand, the police wish to prevent any “direct conflicts” between people attending the commemoration and those attending two protest rallies against the commemoration that are being organised by leftist Austrian initiatives.

All three gatherings will be monitored with static and mobile video surveillance.

More news about the Bleiburg commemoration can be found in the Politics section.


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