gipsy-romi-cigani.jpg
Photograph: Freeimages.com

Discrimination against Serbs and Roma continues in Croatia, according to the annual Amnesty International report which also said that last year the country struggled to provide adequate reception conditions and access to asylum proceeding to a large number of refugees and migrants that arrived in the country.

The state-wide celebration in August of the 20th anniversary of Operation Storm, which saw 200,000 Serbs flee from Croatia in 1995, brought tensions between Serb and Croat nationalists back. the report said adding that the local authorities in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar had decided to remove public signs in the Cyrillic (Serb) alphabet, and to require a special request and the payment of a fee for the receipt of official communications in Cyrillic, despite the fact that 34% of the town’s population were ethnic Serbs. The report also notes that discrimination against Croatian Serbs in public sector employment and in the restitution of tenancy rights to social housing vacated during the 1991-1995 war persisted.

Social exclusion of and discrimination against Roma remained widespread, particularly in accessing adequate housing and employment opportunities, according to the report.

Amensty International singled our several cases saying that the municipal court in Split acquitted three men standing trial for a homophobic attack against six women in the town in 2012. "The victims alleged that the local police had threatened them when they filed their complaint, failed to arrest the suspects on the spot and investigate the crime effectively," the report said.

The report also notes that in June, the Osijek County Court confirmed the decision of the Zagreb Municipal Court, finding that Zagreb Pride, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organisation, violated the honour and dignity of a former employee of Croatian Radio Television (HRT) by placing her on the annual list of candidates for the most homophobic person of the year 2013. The Court ordered the organisation to pay 41,018.91 HRK (€5,414) to the journalist and to publish the verdict on its website.

"Croatia did not ratify the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances nor did it adopt a law on missing persons. In the absence of these legal instruments, relatives of the 1,600 missing persons in Croatia were denied access to justice and reparations," the report said.

The report also notes that By the end of the year, more than 550,000 refugees and migrants had transited through Croatia towards other EU countries, with the assistance of state authorities providing free transportation.

"Only a few hundred people made an asylum application and, by October, 37 had been granted international protection," the report said.

The report also criticised the authorities saying that they failed to identify vulnerable individuals, including unaccompanied minors and victims of human trafficking entering the country through its land borders.

Latest news

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.

Trump and the nuclear codes: Carnival again takes aim at politicians

US President Donald Trump, Brexit, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Germany's right-wing AfD party: Floats unveiled Tuesday for this year's Carnival parades in Cologne and Mainz once again turn to political satire to entertain revellers.

Barcelona police open fire on stolen lorry laden with gas canisters

Security forces in Barcelona opened fire on a stolen lorry laden with gas canisters to bring a rampage through the city to an end, police in the Spanish city said on Tuesday.

Stuttgart to issue bans on high-polluting diesel vehicles from 2018

Most diesel vehicles will be banned from roads in the southern German city of Stuttgart during times of heavy pollution, a bid to clean up the city's air, the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg decided Tuesday.

Slovenia welcomes construction of LNG terminal off Krk, but won't join for now

Slovenia is not planning for now to connect to the floating LNG terminal to be built off Omisalj on the northern Croatian Adriatic island of Krk, but welcomes any additional energy source, Slovenian media say.

German court rules against automatic refugee status for Syrians

Syrians fleeing the multi-sided civil war in their home country do not have an automatic right to refugee status under the Geneva Convention, a German court ruled Tuesday.

Business conference pushes for intensified privatisation in Croatia

As long as the state authorities pay high bills, this means that the government has not yet seriously delved into the privatisation of state-run companies, although their sale can alleviate the pressure on the state budget, a business conference in Zagreb heard on Tuesday.

HND condemns judge's verbal tirade against reporters

The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) on Tuesday condemned a verbal tirade by Sibenik Municipal Court Judge Maja Supe against reporters in the courtroom, claiming that they were not educated to report on trials and that they had called her the "most corrupt judge in the country."

Mosque attended by Berlin attacker Amri closed, police confirm

The mosque in Berlin attended by Berlin truck attacker Anis Amri has been closed. The mosque is permanently closed, read a note in German and Turkish on the door of the prayer rooms which was seen on Tuesday.

German army to expand to almost 200,000 soldiers

Germany's Bundeswehr, plans to expand its number of professional soldier to 198,000 by 2024 because of increasing duties, the German Defence Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Fired Audi engineer says he was 'sacrificed' for emissions scandal

A fired Audi engineer was "sacrificed" amid the ongoing VW group diesel emissions scandal, his lawyer claimed in court on Tuesday as he contested his client's dismissal.