Vukovar City Council Says No Conditions to Expand Serb Minority Rights

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Serb minority
Serb minority

ZAGREB, Oct 28, 2020  – Vukovar City Council concluded by a majority vote on Wednesday that conditions have not yet been reached to expand ensured individual rights and to regulate collective rights for members of the Serb minority who live in that town.

The conclusion was adopted following several hours of debating on the achieved level of understanding, solidarity, tolerance, and dialogue among Vukovar residents – members of the Croat majority population and the Serb national minority. The conclusion received the support of 15 councilors while 6 voted against it.

The conclusion notes that in conditions “when fundamental human rights are still neglected for a vast majority of Vukovar residents of all ethnicities, who opposed the Great Serbia aggression in 1991, and that is the right to life, human dignity, and human freedom, because of the systematic deferment of launching proceedings against perpetrators of war crimes, the necessary preconditions have not been achieved to recognize new special rights to the Serb national minority within the framework of the equal use of the language and script.”

The Council for the Serb National Minority of the City of Vukovar commented on the proposed conclusion in writing earlier, saying that Mayor Ivan Penava has not made sufficient effort to mend relations between Croats and Serbs in Vukovar which, the council said, can be seen in the fact that the proposed conclusion is identical to the one adopted last year.
The council also complained that Mayor Penava is constantly warning of impunity for war crimes committed in Vukovar in 1991 against the majority of people while never referring to crimes committed against Vukovar Serbs. The Hungarian and Ukraine minorities’ council supported the draft conclusion.

The City Statute obliged the City Council to discuss the state of human rights in Vukovar each October, or at least once in two years, and to adopt a decision on that basis.

Today’s City Council meeting was held without reporters, who were given an audio recording of the meeting with the explanation that such a decision was made due to the deteriorated epidemiological situation.

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