NGO Wants Convicted War Criminals to Be Stripped of Military Decorations

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 15, 2018 – The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) nongovernmental organisation has called on Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to strip persons convicted for war crimes “committed during Croatia’s aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina” of their decorations and to apologise, together with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, to the victims of the Ahimici atrocity on the 25th anniversary of that crime.

The Ahmići atrocity, to be commemorated on April 16, was committed when Bosnian Croat HVO forces killed 116 Bosniak men, women and children in the village of Ahmići in April 1993, during the country’s 1992-1995 war.

YIHR said that, according to information available to it, President Grabar-Kitarović has still not stripped Dario Kordić – sentenced in 2004 to 25 years in prison for the Ahmići atrocity, or Jadranko Prlić, Slobodan Praljak, Bruno Stojić, Milivoj Petković and Valentin Ćorić – convicted for war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of their military decorations.

“We would like to recall that YIHR wrote in January this year to the State Commission for Decorations at the Office of the President, asking it to strip the men concerned of their military decorations, yet to date it has not received any answer. Decorations on war criminals are an affront to the victims, a disgrace for Croatia and a burden on the process of reconciliation among our societies,” YIHR said.

Recalling that 11 of the 116 victims in Ahmići were children, YIHR said that “those killings are one of the most horrible crimes committed by Croatian forces in the 1990s, in an international conflict between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 and 1994, when Croatia had total control of HVO forces.”

YIHR believes that Croatia’s most senior officials – the president and the prime minister – “have the duty to distance themselves from the criminal policy of Croatia’s leadership towards Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993-94” and underlines that a sincere act of apology would contribute to the culture of respect for all victims and a responsible process of coming to terms with the past.


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