Police Tries to Explain Away Ustasha Gathering

Total Croatia News

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The police does not seem to be very successful in preventing Ustasha incidents from taking place.

The event held on 10 April on Ban Jelačić Square, the main square in Zagreb, was not registered with the police in advance in accordance with the Law on Public Gatherings, and the gathering of pro-Ustasha youth in late evening, whose photos were circulated on social networks, will result in legal action – at least, according to the Zagreb police which has found themselves under fire for once again tolerating extremist events on the city streets.

“The gathering was not registered in advance with the Zagreb Police Department. Given the fact that the event included prominent banners with inappropriate content, the Zagreb Police Department has conducted a criminal investigation to determine illegal acts and to identify and prosecute the perpetrators,” reported the Zagreb Police Department late yesterday.

According to police sources, the event at the main square lasted for three minutes, from 9.26 to 9.29 pm, so it was more like a flash mob than a gathering, which the police probably thinks makes it less important to intervene. After reviewing surveillance footage, the police determined that the event which included banners with extremist messages lasted for three minutes and that its only purpose was to take the photos which could be later shared on social media.

On some of the photos which have been published individuals with Ustasha slogans and insignia can be seen. Participants also carried a Croatian flag with the first white square in the coat of arms, which is the version preferred by Ustasha supporters and different from the official one, which has a red square first. The date, 10 April, was not chosen randomly – it is the anniversary of the 1941 establishment of the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi-puppet state.

Since the event took place in the centre of the city where police officers can regularly be seen patrolling the streets, many citizens wonder how was it possible that the gathering did not caught eye of the police which is present on and around the main city square.

While this incident might not seem too worrying on its own, it is a part of a large wave of similar events. Jewish, Serb and antifascist organization have recently announced they would boycott the official state commemoration for the victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp because the government is tolerating a plaque with the Ustasha slogan near the camp site, Croatian public broadcaster has seemingly brought into question the number of people killed in Auschwitz, a school principal has shut down an exhibition on Anne Frank, extremists are marching the streets in Zagreb in broad daylight as well, and so on.

All this has been met with tepid reaction by Croatian officials, who always say they condemn all extremisms, but somehow never do anything about it.


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