Hate speech is public expressions which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred, discrimination or hostility towards a specific group. They contribute to a general climate of intolerance which in turn makes attacks more probable against those given groups.
The Criminal Code defines the criminal offense of incitement to violence and hatred in the art. 325:
1. Whoever, through the press, radio, television, computer system or network, at a public meeting or otherwise publicly incites or publicly makes available leaflets, pictures or other material that call for violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of a group because of their racial, religious, national or ethnic affiliation, origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or any other characteristics, shall be punished by imprisonment of up to three years.
2. A person that organizes or leads a group of three or more persons for the purpose of committing an offense referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years.
3. A person that participates in the association referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, shall be punished by imprisonment of up to one year.
4. The punishment referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be inflicted to those who publicly approve, deny or significantly diminishes crime of genocide, the crime of aggression, crimes against humanity or war crimes directed against a group of persons or a member of the group because of their race, religion, national or ethnic affiliation, origin or color, in a way that is appropriate to encourage violence or hatred against such a group or a member of that group.
5. The attempt of the criminal offense referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall be punished.
Lesbian group Kontra filed criminal complaints for the first successful cases of hate speech in the Croatian courts – case about the blog with the neo-Nazi content and invitation to violence against the organizers of Zagreb Pride (2007), the case of Franjo Jurčević- priest who instigated the violence in Zagreb after Belgrade pride (2010) and other similar cases.