Renowned International Intellectuals Demand Dismissal of Culture Minister Hasanbegović

By 24 May 2016

Nobel Prize winners, former prime ministers and activists sign a letter against Croatian Culture Minister.

French newspaper Liberation published an open letter which includes a petition for the dismissal of Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović, reports Index.hr on May 24, 2016.

Among numerous renowned intellectuals, the letter was signed by Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Negri, Bosnian Oscar winner Danis Tanović, professor at the University of California in Berkeley Judith Butler, conservative French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and Italian Nobel Prize for Literature winner Dario Fo.

The letter describes Hasanbegović as a historical revisionist and supporter of the Ustasha regime. “Zlatko Hasanbegović exploits violence of totalitarian regimes to discredit the struggle against fascism, which he insidiously mixes with the crimes of communism, which is a distortion of the truth. He was not chosen for his competences in the field of culture, but to promote the ideology he represents. In his speeches and publications, he puts into doubt historical truths and basic values ​​of our political union”, states the letter published by Liberation.

Liberation writes that one of Hasanbegović’s first moves was to abolish the Commission for Non-Profit Media and to get rid of critically-minded journalists on Croatian Radio Television.

“He has put members of the Council for Electronic Media under enormous pressure which caused concern of many organizations, including the OSCE. Because of this, we call for joint action, since there is no place in Europe and in Croatia for the ideology represented by him. It is not about freedom of thought or political sensibilities, but about expression of our commitment to the basic values ​​which are the foundation of the European project”, states the letter.

The letter against Hasanbegović was also signed by former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and well-known European intellectuals such as Etienne Balibar, Chantal Mouffe and others. Among the signatories are also French activists and Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. Signatories from Croatia include actress Urša Raukar and human rights activist Mario Mažić.