Austria Bans Ustasha Symbols

By 12 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 12, 2019 - Austria's Federal Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday stated that it had extended a list of banned political symbols to include, among other things, two Ustasha symbols.

The list of the banned insignia, posted on the ministry's website, includes 13 flags and symbols of which most relate to Islamist and terrorist organisations, whereas two are symbols of the 1941-1945 Nazi-style Ustasha regime in Croatia.

The initiative to forbid by law those two symbols was launched by the regional authorities in Carinthia, where every year in mid-May a commemoration is held in Bleiburg in memory of victims killed in the wake of the Second World War by the Tito-led Partisans. During those commemorative events, some appear in Ustasha uniforms, display Ustasha insignia or perform the Nazi salute, for which they are regularly arrested by local police.

Austrian members of the European Parliament have requested the ban on symbols of WW2-era pro-Fascist regimes in Europe.

The list of the proscribed symbols includes also insignia of the Society of the Muslim Brothers, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Kurdish PKK party and the Turkish Grey Wolves.

The maximum fine for using the proscribed insignia is 4,000 euro, and those who repeat the offence can be fined up to 10,000 euro.

More news on the Bleiburg commemorations can be found in the Politics section.