To whom it may concern,
We are addressing you in regards to the attack by tear gas on LGBT party at the club Super Super in Zagreb.
Hate crimes are especially dangerous for society due to direct violations of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
This attack is simply a symptom of the general state of society in Croatia. Lesbian Group Kontra has been alarming public for a long time regarding the escalation of hate speech towards LGBT persons by not only the radical religious groups and politicians but also representatives of state institutions.
The direct consequence of this is escalation of violence. Furthermore, failure of state institutions to react and sanction such cases is resulting in negative message towards victims and perpetuators of such violent acts and society in general.
Do we have to remind the authorities that they have responsibility to protect all citizens from violence and that its task is to fight hatred and prejudices that lead to victimization?
LGBT (lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons in most cases don’t report violence due to lack of confidence in state institutions, especially the police.
Police, as a rule, doesn’t investigate such cases or they file misdemeanor charges instead of criminal charges against perpetuators and this leads into the misdemeanor proceedings where victims are maltreated and attackers liberated or simply ordered to apologize to victim as the only sanction for physical attacks motivated by hatred.
Prevalence of attacks on LGBT persons points to the need of more efficient acting by repressive organs – police and the public prosecutor in such cases.
In order to encourage more efficient work of police and public prosecutor in this case we will file a criminal complaint and request for this attack to be qualified as a hate crime.
We demand from the state institutions:
• from the police to urgently find and arrest all perpetuators of the attack on club Super Super;
• from the police and the State Attorney’s Office in Zagreb to initiate criminal proceedings against all perpetuators in relation to hate crime against LGBT persons;
• from Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice to immediately condemn attacks and discrimination against LGBT persons and take clear actions to stop further escalation of violence against LGBT persons in Croatia;
• from Croatian Parliament to adopt national program for combating discrimination and violence against LGBT persons;
• from the Government to introduce systematic education for police, state attorneys and judges in relation to this subject;
• from the Government and the Ministry of Education to remove all discriminative content from the school curricula.
Sanja Juras, Coordinator of Lesbian Group Kontra
Statement is co-signed by the Women’s Network of Croatia.