ZAGREB, December 8, 2019 – The Documenta Centre for Dealing with the Past and the Serb National Council (SNV) held a commemoration for Marija, Aleksandra and Mihajlo Zec who had been killed on Mount Medvednica, overlooking Zagreb, 28 years ago on Saturday, saying that they would ask the city authorities to name a Zagreb square or street after 12-year-old Aleksandra.
They said they would also ask the city authorities to put up a memorial plaque on the Adolfovac mountain lodge where Aleksandra and her mother Marija were shot dead by members of a special police unit under Tomislav Merčep.
Members of the unit came to the home of the Zec family in Zagreb’s Trešnjevka district shortly after 11pm on 7 December 1991 and shot dead 38-year-old Mihajlo Zec as he tried to escape. Marija and Aleksandra, who witnessed the murder, were then taken in a van to Adolfovac where they were killed and the mountain lodge later burned down.
Shortly after the police found the bodies, the members of Merčep’s unit Munib Suljić, Igor Mikola, Siniša Rimac, Nebojša Hodak and Snežana Živanović were arrested. Some of them confessed to the murders before an investigating judge, but at trial it was found that they did not have a lawyer present during their interviews with the investigating judge as required by law. Their earlier statements were thrown out and they were released.
Aleksandra, Marija and Mihajlo Zec are buried in Mihajlo’s place of birth Gornja Dragotinja, near Prijedor, northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Journalist Drago Pilsel said at the commemoration that their murder “is one of the most shameful chapters in modern Croatian history.”
“Some of the murderers later advanced in their careers and were even decorated by the then President Franjo Tuđman, which brings into question the defensive nature of the Homeland War,” Pilsel said.
The head of Documenta, Vesna Teršelić, wondered if Croatian politicians and citizens “will remember not just the victims of the Homeland War, for whom Parliament has designated a special date in the calendar, but also all the children, more than 400 of them, killed in the Homeland War.”
Speaking on behalf of the SNV, Saša Milošević said that the 1990s was “not just a glorious period, but also a very sad, dark, tragic and shameful period of Croatian history.”
The Documenta and SNV representatives laid a wreath and lit three candles, members of the public laid roses, and a minute’s silence was observed for the dead.
Among those attending were Zoran Pusić of the Antifascist League and the Civic Committee on Human Rights, and SNV president and member of Parliament Milorad Pupovac.
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