The Croatian Helsinki Committee (HHO) said on Tuesday that accusations against Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic presented by some nongovernmental organisations and the Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) were groundless, and the HHO elaborated that Hasanbegovic was right when he said that anti-fascism was not mentioned in Croatia's Constitution.

The HHO says in a press release that the term "anti-Fascism" is not in the Croatian Constitution.

As for the historical foundations cited in the Constitution, the HHO recalls that the document reads that the millennial national identity of the Croatian nation and the continuity of its statehood manifested itself, among other things, "in laying the foundations of state sovereignty during the Second World War, through decisions of the Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (1943), to oppose the proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (1941), and subsequently in the Constitution of the People's Republic of Croatia (1947), and several subsequent constitutions of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1963-1990)."

"At the historic turning-point marked by the rejection of the communist system and changes in the international order in Europe, the Croatian nation reaffirmed, in the first democratic elections (1990), by its freely expressed will, its millennial statehood and its resolution to establish the Republic of Croatia as a sovereign state," reads the Constitution.

Thus, the HHO points out that in the democratic elections, the Croatian people rejected the Communist system and Yugoslavia which "are now being concealed behind the term 'anti-Fascism'," the HHO writes, explaining that in the European context "anti-fascism" is a part of the notion of anti-totalitarianism which is equally distanced from Fascism and Communism.

In the Croatian case, the term "anti-Fascism" marks the historical experience of eradication of political, civil and human rights, and the regime (in this case Yugoslav Communist regime) responsible for such crimes is criminal, the HHO said, accusing those who justified Communist crimes of paving the way for new crimes.

The HHO insists that Croatian anti-Fascists-Communists, who were "Stalin's proxies", conducted the armed and ideological struggle against the idea of Croatian state and persecuted and executed advocates of the idea of the Croatian state.

"Therefore, the glorification of mass killings and of the mass killer, Dictator (Josip Broz) Tito, who killed half a million people from 1945 to 1951, cannot be a civilisational value and cannot be called anti-Fascism," the HHO said in the press release in which it countered criticism of vociferous opponents of the new Culture Minister.

The HND also dismissed as "a notorious lie" claims that Hasanbegovic, born in Zagreb in 1973, was a member of the Croatian Liberation Movement of Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.