Thousands Protest against Istanbul Convention

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 24, 2018 – Thousands of people gathered in downtown Zagreb on Saturday to protest against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the Croatian parliament.

The protesters first gathered outside the headquarters of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) to protest against the convention saying that it promoted gender ideology and harshly interfered with the fundamental cultural, identity and legal guidelines of Croatian society.

Carrying banners reading “HDZ is a betrayal” “No to Istanbul Convention in Croatia”, “Zagreb against Istanbul Convention”, “Stop violence against Croatia”, protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to sent the law on the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, along with the interpretive statement, to parliament.

The protest was organised by the civil initiative “Croatia Against the Istanbul Convention”. Among those who protested were some well-known veterans, members of conservative parties and conservative NGOs.

The organisers claim that 70,000 people gathered, but the police gave a much more objective assessment of about 5,000 protesters.

Reacting to the protest, Speaker of Parliament and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) secretary general Gordan Jandroković said that the ratification of the Istanbul Convention enjoyed a broad public support, adding that the ratification did not mean that Croatia was obliged to include anything regarding gender ideology in its legal and education systems.

“Everybody has the right to express their opinion and position about all topics, including the Istanbul Convention, but it is important that this be done appropriately and with arguments,” Jandroković said when asked to comment on a protest staged in Zagreb on Saturday against the ratification of the document.

“The government unanimously decided to send the Istanbul Convention to parliament, the President supported the ratification process, so I believe there is a broad public consensus that this convention is an important document for the protection of women against violence and domestic violence. In the interpretive statement we have clearly stated that there are no obligations for Croatia to include anything regarding the gender ideology in its legal and education systems,” Jandroković said adding that the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman would remain in the Constitution.


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