2007 ANNUAL REPORT ON THE STATUS OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF SEXUAL AND GENDER MINORITIES IN CROATIA

Summary

Positive advances in the status of the human rights of sexual and gender minorities in Croatia in 2007 are visible, as in previous years, in the increase of reports of violence and discrimination to organizations for the protection of sexual and gender minorities. More and more people find the courage to report homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes. Nevertheless, the great majority of people who experienced discrimination and violence never report such incidents because of their lack of confidence in the Croatian legal system, and fearing disclosure of their sexual orientation.

The most serious violation of human rights of sexual and gender minorities in 2007 came from the police during their actions in cases of violence against members of sexual and gender minorities during the Zagreb Pride 2007 event. In spite of the great number of evidenced cases of physical violence against members of sexual and gender minorities by employees of the Zagreb Police Department, not one criminal charge was submitted by the police against the perpetrators.

On 9 July 2007 Jutarnji List published an official statement by Mr Marijan Tomurad, chief of the Zagreb Police Department, in which he, amongst other things, claimed: “We have done a top job, and nobody can hold anything against us. We reacted appropriately to the situation and the moment, and in an extremely professional and responsible way, held the whole event under control”, and that, “if
someone thinks he or she should bring charges against the troublemaker, they can do it.” Only two days earlier, Mr Tomurad had said that the police managed to prevent a tragedy because dozens of people could have been injured by the petrol bombs. Nevertheless, the police never brought criminal charges for the violent attacks on the participants in the event, including the attempted attack with
Molotov cocktails.

During a report of violence, the police officials of the 1st Police Station insulted the injured parties,treating them in a discriminatory way because of their sexual orientation and nationality (they were Slovenian citizens). The Ministry of Internal Affairs never punished this behaviour, even after the complaint of the injured parties, thereby sending a message that this kind of behaviour is in accordance with the attitude of the Ministry. The police silently and actually reject the possibility of investigating the attackers.

Report: PDF, 468KB