HDZ Wants to Sanction Leadership Criticism, Not Everybody Agrees

By 11 November 2019

ZAGREB, November 11, 2019 - The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) finds it unacceptable that any of its members should use hate speech or threats, the ruling party said on its Facebook account on Sunday, calling on its MP Davor Ivo Stier to state in public whether he supports hate speech and threats and accusing him of perfidiously misusing the messages of the late pope John Paul II.

Responding to Stier's Facebook post, the HDZ said that no one in the party "questions freedom and secrecy of correspondence and freedom of speech, especially not when it comes to members of the party."

However, it is unacceptable for any member to continually use hate speech and threats in groups organised under the name and symbols of the HDZ, such as calls for someone "to be impaled on a stick" or "shot in the head", and to openly incite members to support other parties and candidates and call on members not to vote for HDZ candidates, the party said.

"That is not, nor will it be, the policy of the HDZ, and if Davor Stier shares and supports such outpourings of hatred and threats directed at party colleagues, let him say so in public. It is therefore perfidious and pathetic of Stier to misuse the messages of John Paul II. Does Davor Stier think that John Paul II would consider such calls for lynching messages of freedom, peace and love?" the HDZ said.

Following media reports that the party Presidency had decided to sanction party members who used hate speech or threats or criticised the party leadership on social media, Stier recalled that freedom and secrecy of correspondence were guaranteed and inviolable under the Constitution and quoted John Paul II as saying before the fall of Communism "Don't be afraid!"

More HDZ news can be found in the Politics section.