Police Investigating Vukovar Mayor for Posting Controversial Video

By 22 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 22, 2019 - The Vukovar-Srijem County police in cooperation with the local prosecutorial authorities are establishing all the circumstances in connection with the posting of video footage on the official website of the Town of Vukovar showing several students of a local high school sitting on the stands during the Croatian anthem, the police stated on Tuesday.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović confirmed today that the police were addressing the issue of the controversial posting of the video which grabbed media attention when Mayor Ivan Penava wondered why local ethnic Serb students refused to stand for the Croatian anthem.

The minister said that the authorities would inform the public of the findings of the investigation in a timely fashion. He said that the investigation should show of the posting of the video was controversial given that children were involved in the case. "Of course, children should not be put in any political context. However, I would not prejudge any outcome, having in mind that preliminary legal opinions that differ on that matter," said the minister.

The town's official website has posted the video of ethnic Serb secondary school students who did not stand up for the Croatian anthem at a football match played in Vukovar last year

The Croatian Serb leader, Milorad Pupovac, accused Mayor Ivan Penava of violating the Children's Wellbeing Act, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Personal Data Act and other laws, further inciting an atmosphere of violence by the posting of this video.

The ombudsperson for children's rights Helenca Pirnat Dragičević said that she had asked a police report on the same case, given that a boy from the video was recently assaulted at a bus station. The ombudwoman suspects that this was case of peer violence.

More news on the situation in Vukovar can be found in the Politics section.