Ombudswoman Insists Police Must File Report over Ustasha Salute

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, August 7, 2019 – Public Ombudswoman Lora Vidovic has said that failure to file criminal reports over the chanting of the ‘For the homeland ready’ salute by former HOS members in Knin and at a concert of pop singer Marko Perković in Split would amount to “gross violation of Croatia’s’ legal order”.

She told the Jutarnji List daily on Wednesday that in the event the police persisted in not lodging a criminal report for the two cases, then the Interior Minister and the Prime Minister should get involved in the matter.

Recently Hina learned that the police will not file a criminal report against members of the 9th HOS Battalion who on Monday morning chanted the salute ‘For the homeland ready’ in front of a monument dedicated to the 1995 Operation Storm in Knin during the celebration of the national Victory Day.

The Šibenik-Knin County Police Department confirmed that while paying tribute to fellow fighters killed in the 1991-95 war, HOS members, led by Marko Skejo, chanted the “For the homeland ready” salute, which was used in the World War II Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia (NDH). “There is nothing contentious about it, they chanted the salute in front of the monument. It would be contentious if they used it outside commemorative events, in the city streets,” spokeswoman Marica Kosor said in her explanation.

As for the concert at Split’s Riva, the local police told the daily that all songs performed during the event were not prohibited and that there was no accident against public peace and order. The Split-Dalmatia police also said that they acted in line with final rulings of the magistrate courts regarding this matter.

However, according to the Jutarnji List daily, Ombudswoman Vidović insists that the rulings of the High Magistrate Court and the Constitutional Court have made it clear that the salute ‘For the homeland ready’ is punishable in all circumstances and without exception.

The decisions made by the Constitutional Court are obligatory for all, Vidovic was quoted by the daily as saying.

If the police decide not to file criminal reports, it is an act of political opportunism, she said.

Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković said on Tuesday that he found the Ustasha salute ‘For the homeland ready’ to be unacceptable, and that one should avoid using it, however, each case has its and circumstances which is why it is necessary to consider place and time of its use.

“I find that salute to be unacceptable. Anyway, it evokes hard times, the (1941-1945) Independent State of Croatia (NDH). I think it should be avoided,” the minister told the commercial RTL broadcaster.

Asked by the anchorwoman to explain whether it was unacceptable to use that salute during the central commemoration of Victory Day in Knin on Monday, the minister went on to say that “each case has its specificity and circumstances”.

“We have a situation that makes us realise that things should not be seen in black and white only, as some would like to present. We had the HOS units as part of the Croatian army. They were legal, they have a legal coat of arms that includes the salute ‘For the homeland ready’. So when this salute is uttered, one should look at the circumstance, the place and the time where and when it is uttered. If this happens in a commemorative space in connection with HOS members, too, then that cannot be prosecuted,” the minister explained.

More news about historical revisionism can be found in the Politics section.


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