On the occasion of International Migrants Day, members of the Welcome Initiative on Friday warned about of the critical state of society in which it was necessary to explain that a call for help must not be turned down.
As a sign of sympathy with victims' families and solidarity with everyone fleeing in search of a safe home, activists sounded ship sirens in Zagreb's St. Mark Square and carried a banner reading "A call for help can't be turned down".
They said it was high time for a uniform response from Europe aimed at increasing humanity and openness for everyone in need of humanness.
Actress Nancy Abdel Sakhi said she could not believe there was someone who needed explaining that a call for help must not be turned down. This situation, with Croatia surrounded by barbed wire, reminds me of past events in Europe, of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the Srebrenica atrocity took place, she said.
We are all saying that this crisis is happening in the heart of Europe, but we should ask ourselves if this crisis is happening in our hearts, she added.
Julija Kranjec of the Welcome Initiative underlined the importance of respecting human rights and ensuring dignified living conditions. "More than 500,000 people in search of Europe's safety have passed through Croatia. Europe has turned out to be an unsafe haven in which states are fenced off with wire, where shameful decisions of racial profiling are being practices. The European Union is investing in barbed wire instead of in opening towards others and offering protection to people fleeing violence."
Today's drive was part of a series of coordinated solidarity activities to take place in Austria, Greece, Italy, France, and Tunisia on Saturday. At noon tomorrow, all vessels of Croatia's Jadrolinija shipping company will lower their flags at half-mast and ship sirens will be sounded in Adriatic ports in sympathy with all those who lost their lives in search of a safe haven and better life.
Croatia is on a route crossed every day by thousands of refugees, mainly from war-affected countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, on their way to Western countries, primarily Germany.