Croatian Government Condemns MP’s Son’s Hate Speech

By 9 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 8, 2019 - The Croatian government condemned in the strongest terms a Facebook post by MP Josip Đakić's son Ivan, which it said spreads hate speech which incites intolerance, according to a press release issued by the government's public relations office on Tuesday.

Relevant institutions have already launched action against such behaviour, the press release said.

The 22-year-old Ivan Đakić posted a photograph on his Facebook page on Monday showing an Ustasha with the severed head of a Chetnik, under which he wrote: "Merry Christmas to all my Serb 'friends'." The Ustashas and Chetniks were respective Croatian and Serbian allies of Nazi Germany in World War II.

The post prompted widespread condemnation over hate speech.

Ivan Đakić was taken in by the police in Virovitica, 150 kilometres northeast of Zagreb, for questioning.

The ruling HDZ party strongly condemned the post as hate speech and incitement to social intolerance, announcing that it would take disciplinary action against Ivan Đakić.

Ivan Đakić resigned from party membership on Tuesday. "I see his resignation from the party today as an act of confession of this grave mistake and a realisation of the gravity of this regrettable act," said his father, Josip Đakić, who serves as chairman of the HDZ's Virovitica-Podravina County committee.

"I shared the photograph from a friend of mine and erased it within a minute. It doesn't reflect my opinion. I apologise to anyone I may have offended and wish them a merry Christmas," Đakić told the Index news website.

However, the screenshot clearly shows that Djakic did not remove the photograph within a minute and that he himself posted it.

More news on the dark part of the Croatian history can be found in the Politics section.