Friday, 10 December 2021

NGOs Warn of Low Level of Social and Economic Entitlements in Croatia

ZAGREB, 10 Dec 2021 - On the occasion of Human Rights Day, NGOs warned of a low level of social and economic rights in Croatia and called for the improvement of public services and for reconstruction of earthquake-struck areas to be accelerated.

"Healthcare, social welfare, housing and education have to be accessible to everyone. Public services need reliable support which inevitably includes long-term public investments and progressive taxation so as not to deepen the social inequality," the NGOs said in a press release.

The associations particularly highlighted the absence of strategic documents for marginalised groups such as the homeless or refugees.

Workers' rights deteriorated, inaccessible and inadequate healthcare

They warned that for years labour rights have deteriorated, and of inaccessible and inadequate healthcare, a poor social welfare system, absence of policies to enable secure housing and to remove inequality in access to education.

The corona crisis made all these problems more pronounced, they said.

Labour conditions in many sectors have been worsened and jobs are insecure while the health system could not care simultaneously both for COVID patients and other patients, which jeopardised the right to health, they added.

The social welfare system does not have enough capacities to resolve burning issues and to ensure protection for the most vulnerable groups.

Gov't inept for earthquake reconstruction

Another acute problem is the "terribly slowness, incapability and unwillingness of government to start rebuilding in earthquake-hit areas."

Most people have been left to their own devices, particularly in central Croatia and they will be spending at least one more winter in inadequate conditions.

They noted the importance of the Future is Public manifest, which has been signed by 200 organisations around the world seeking public services that will meet individual and collective needs and reduce inequality and will protect the dignity of all members of society.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 10 December 2021

Gov't Establishes Human Rights Council

ZAGREB, 10 Dec 2021 - The Croatian government on Friday formed the Human Rights Council, with Deputy PM Boris Milošević, who is in charge of social affairs and human rights, recalling that Croatia was observing Human Rights Day.

Human Rights Day commemorates 10 December 1948 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the foundation of the international human rights system.

The establishment of the Human Rights Council builds on the political tradition of the existence of a separate interdepartmental body that helps the government in its efforts to recognise and respond, as constructively and as efficiently as possible, to the new challenges regarding  human rights, Milošević noted.

The government's decision defines the tasks and composition of the Council, to be headed by Deputy PM Milošević.

The government today also adopted a programme of measures for the reconstruction of buildings damaged in last year's earthquakes in the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje County, Zagreb County, Sisak-Moslavina County and Karlovac County, which is being aligned with amendments to the law on the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged buildings.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 3 December 2021

Associations for the Disabled Call for Law on Social Housing

ZAGREB, 3 Dec 2021 - Associations for people with disabilities on Friday called for a law that will regulate social housing and ensure a sufficient number of flats for the disabled who cannot pay market rent prices.

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, several associations, supported by the disability ombudsman, forwarded an appeal to the government for a law to be adopted on social housing which is something they have been calling for, for years.

Croatia does not have any organised housing for disabled persons or any regulations in that regard. The associations said that over the past few years, several social measures were adopted but without any significant positive impact.

"Flat rent prices have increased and many beneficiaries of guaranteed minimum allowances have been on waiting lists for public housing for years," Marica Mirić said on behalf of the associations.

It is much harder for disabled persons to afford housing or rentals and often they are discriminated against.

State real-estate should be earmarked for social housing

Findings of a survey, conducted among people with disabilities about housing, were presented today.

They show that 97.5% of the respondents believe that the state should adopt an appropriate legal framework for social housing while 84.2% said that "their needs have partially, or not been satisfied in light of their earnings in households."

Too low an income as an obstacle regarding housing issues was cited by 51.1% of respondents while 61% said that up to HRK 1,000 a month would be an acceptable price for rent.

As much as 66.7% consider that Croatia needs to build more social housing units and 60.5% consider that state-owned real-estate should be earmarked for social housing.

European Commission and Parliament: Finance social housing

The European Commission's Strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities 2021-2030 calls on member states to promote and ensure financing for appropriate social housing that takes account of disability issues including elderly disabled persons, and to deal with the problems faced by the homeless and disabled persons.

Last year saw a rapid increase in real-estate prices hence accessibility to affordable housing continues to be a challenge.

The European Parliament has called on member states to recognise appropriate housing to be a fundamental human right and that this should be incorporated in legislation.

An online international panel discussion was held to mark the international day of the disabled presenting a comparison of housing opportunities for the disabled in Croatia, the EU and the region.

It was said that housing in Croatia is implemented through existing laws and that it would be worthwhile to adopt a comprehensive law at the national level.

Croatia doesn't treat social housing as a fundamental human right

Gojko Bežovan from the Zagreb Faculty of Law underscored that Croatia has ignored the issue of social housing. We have strategies in all other fields except for social housing which is a fundamental human right, he said.

He underscored that the EU, like Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina all have laws on social housing and other regulations in that regard. 

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated politics page.

Friday, 5 November 2021

Social Welfare Has to Be Available to Everyone, Says Human Rights Ombudswoman

ZAGREB, 5 Nov 2021 - Human Rights Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter believes that it is essential that the new Social Welfare Act establish a good welfare system and make entitlements and services available to everyone, including people living in rural areas and on the islands.

"It is essential to establish a well-organised welfare system, with appropriate capacities, and entitlements and services have to be available to everyone, including people living in rural and isolated areas and on the islands. Allowances should ensure a significant decrease in poverty or facilitate coming out of poverty, while the reform should focus on citizens who are beneficiaries of the social welfare system," Šimonović Einwalter says in her comments on the social welfare bill.

She welcomes the positive changes which include a guaranteed minimum allowance, accommodation and home help for all beneficiaries of welfare assistance. She also welcomes the increased penalties for anyone providing services for the elderly who have violated the law.

Necessary to be precise with legal provisions

Šimonović Einwalter says that it is important for legal provisions to be as precise as possible so that in practice they are interpreted correctly and equally.

"It is necessary to list welfare entitlements to ensure legal security, but also so they are visible, particularly to beneficiaries in the system," she says.

She believes that the bill needs to significantly relieve employees at welfare centres and decrease the number of  their public powers, particularly for those who are not directly tied to the welfare system.

She says that centres currently have 145 powers that are not sufficiently directed to the needs of beneficiaries. "Relieving them would ensure timely and quality protection for beneficiaries with regard to preventing the tragedies that we have unfortunately witnessed," she said.

Šimonović Einwalter lists a series of proposals to improve the bill.

 "Considering the novelty the bill brings related to establishing a social welfare institute, it is particularly important to investigate the possible effects of centralising the system and changing the status of welfare centres, as well as to hold additional consultations on these proposals," she says.

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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

HRW, AI And Other NGOs Criticise Croatian Border Monitoring Mechanism

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and six other NGOs on Tuesday criticised the new Croatian border monitoring mechanism, expressing concern about the body's independence and efficiency.

Recent media reports and official statements about the newly established border monitoring mechanism raise serious concerns, especially over the body's mandate, efficiency and independence, Amnesty International, Are You Syrious, the Centre for Peace Studies, the Danish Refugee Council, Human Rights Watch, the International Rescue Committee, Refugee Rights Europe and Save the Children said in a joint press release.

The Croatian government announced that the negotiations on the mechanism have concluded, but has not publicly disclosed further details about its structure or functioning, according to the press release.

The independent mechanism should monitor the treatment of illegal migrants by police officers, following several reports by NGOs of violations of migrants' rights at the border, which the Croatian government denies. The establishment of the mechanism was earlier proposed by the European Commission.

"Any border monitoring mechanism should be independent in law and practice and have sufficient resources and a robust mandate to monitor border-related operations anywhere on the territory of a state," the NGOs said.

The source of contention is the fact that according to the NGOs, the mechanism's mandate would be limited to police stations near the border and border crossings, while most contentious actions of the Croatian authorities take place further away from them, the press release says.

The objection also referred to the involvement of other institutions and organisations.

"To ensure that the mechanism is credible and effective, it needs to involve independent institutions or organisations that have monitoring experience – such as civil society organisations, United Nations agencies, and national human rights institutions – that are not financially dependent on the government;" they said, adding that any mechanisms that do not meet such standards could undermine the European Commission's efforts to end violence on the Union's external borders.

"The Commission should actively review and assess the mechanism to ensure that Croatian authorities put in place a system that can credibly monitor compliance with EU law in border operations and should provide political and financial support only to a system that meets the above standards," the NGOs said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

European Comission Publishes Rule of Law Report on Croatia

ZAGREB, 20 July, 2021 - A series of alleged ethical breaches and disciplinary violations by judges led to proceedings against them, public procurement procedures remain a high-risk area for corruption, and lawsuits against journalists give rise to concern, the European Commission says in a report on the rule of law in Croatia.

The Commission on Tuesday published its second annual report on the rule of law in the EU member states, a new instrument that should help in early detection and prevention of problems relating to the rule of law.

The report covers four key areas: the justice system, the anti-corruption framework, media freedom and pluralism, and institutional issues relating to checks and balances.

The Commission noted that the report only provides a description of the situation without giving any recommendations and is not designed as a ranking. Its purpose is to raise public awareness and promote open discussion between the member states on rule of law issues both at national and at EU level.

The justice system

The Commission says that the Croatian justice system has seen improvements in reducing length of proceedings and backlogs, but that further improvements are still needed to address serious efficiency and quality challenges.

"The ongoing process for appointing the new Supreme Court President has given rise to controversy and to repeated disparaging public statements against judges", and "the Constitutional Court stressed the importance of cooperation between state authorities" in addressing different views on the appointment of the Supreme Court President.

"The State Judicial Council made proposals to strengthen its role in selecting judges – an issue already raised in the 2020 Rule of Law Report."

Without naming any names, the report says that "a series of alleged ethical breaches and disciplinary violations by judges led to proceedings before the State Judicial Council and Judges’ Councils, as well as to a criminal investigation."

"The level of perceived judicial independence remains very low. Shortages in human resources of the State Judicial Council and the State Attorney’s Councils remain, even if some limited reinforcements have been allocated to verify the newly published asset declarations of judges and state attorneys," the Commission says.

The anti-corruption framework

The reports notes that a new Strategy on the Prevention of Corruption for 2021-2030 is in the public consultation process, envisaging the strengthening of the legal framework on prevention of conflict of interest, which is currently being drafted. Codes of Ethics for members of the Government and for members of Parliament are still missing, while “revolving doors” are only partially regulated.

"Detailed rules on lobbying activities remain to be introduced. While changes to the framework of political immunity of the members of Government were announced, the legislative action has yet to follow. Public procurement procedures remain a high-risk area for corruption, and several cases have been discovered due to reporting by whistleblowers. The prosecution and investigation of high-level corruption continues, but due to protracted proceedings convictions are often delayed."

Media freedom

"Croatia is updating its media legislation to transpose the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, with the revision of the Electronic Media Act to be adopted still in 2021. Concerns about the political independence of the Agency for Electronic Media persist," the Commission says.

"Croatia has a solid framework on transparency of media ownership information and envisages further improvements. While state advertising is partly regulated by the Electronic Media Act, stakeholders report it often undermines the political independence of media outlets which are economically dependent on such funding, notably at local level.

"A legal framework for the protection of journalists is in place, but they continue to face threats. In particular, the high number of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) targeting journalists continues to be a serious concern. Access to information is ensured by law, but delays in the processing of requests from journalists persist."

Checks and balances

The Commission says that although public consultations are embedded in legislative procedures, stakeholders perceive citizen participation to be rather formalistic than substantive.

It notes that Croatia did not declare a state of emergency, and COVID-19 pandemic measures were based on the twice-mended law regarding infectious diseases. "The Constitutional Court has reviewed these measures, finding that they were compatible with the Constitution and also ruled that Parliament should find ways to guarantee its functions during the pandemic."

"The People’s Ombudsperson’s access to the information required to undertake investigations
needs further improvement. The National Plan for Creating and Enabling Environment for
the Civil Society Development 2021-2027 remains in drafting phase since 2016 – an issue
raised in the 2020 Rule of law Report," the Commission says.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Zagreb Gay Pride 2021 Analysis: Issues Still Exist, Pride Celebrates History and Present Equality

July 5, 2021 - Gay rights in Croatia still have challenges ahead, but even if all problems are resolved, Pride should remain a commemorative event. A look at the history of gay culture in Croatia and the current climate in this Zagreb Gay Pride 2021 Analysis by TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac.

Zagreb Pride is the oldest pride in Croatia. First held in 2002, it attracts more and more people every year, from LGBTQ members, straight people that support gay rights to NGOs, human rights activists, and even politicians from the left and liberal specter. Over the years, the event grew from a one-day pride to Pride month, full of educational and entertaining events regarding LGBTQ issues and a chance for people with the same preferences to meet and celebrate who they are.

Pride month is marked in June in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.

„The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets, and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world“, reminds History.com.

When it comes to LGBTQ in Croatia, as you can expect with the ideological divide Croatians generally experience, there are mixed feelings on the issue.

From street violence to a family event  

Participating in the first Pride in 2002 required that if you are a man loving a man ready to openly admit it, you had to have balls.

The attacks by skinheads and other „morally concerned citizens were fierce and violent. Participants truly needed police protection which was provided but also needed to be careful to not get hit by the incoming rocks that were thrown among the participants.

skin_arrest.jpg

Police arresting violent skinhead at the first Zagreb Pride in 2002, screenshot / Zagreb pride

But, at least for Zagreb, the situation got better and more open. Today, pride is the forthcoming celebration of love and freedom, and entire families can be seen to join the picnic at Ribnjak park to teach their children tolerance and that people are not sick or different from others because of their sexual preference. Other larger cities in Croatia, such as Split, slowly but surely, do follow that path too, and Rijeka, the pinnacle of liberal Croatia, is also a very gay-friendly city.

Of course, a political counterstrike is expected and quite strong. The first most notable one was the 2013 referendum, where it was voted that the Croatian constitution declares marriage as a „community between a man and woman“. The goal was to deny LGBTQ couples the same rights as enjoyed by straight people.

However, the bill on life partnership outplayed that attempt.

In the meantime, LGBTQ couples can also adopt children in Croatia, as Constitutional Court concluded that gay couples fostering children is not against the Croatian Constitution.

That decision and along with the general openness of Croatia towards LGBTQ was followed by a controversial carnival in Imotski where an effigy of a gay couple was burned. President Zoran Milanović demanded an apology from the organizers, and SDP's MP Arsen Bauk filed charges against the organizers.

Counting pluses and minuses, the report on Croatia being the 39th best country for LGBTQ visitors still seems to uphold. No changes for the better, but at least Croatia is still in the top third for this category of tourists.

 Haters strike back

2020 and 2021 sadly saw the uprise of violence towards LGBTQ in the Croatian capital. Apart from the occasional tearing down or burning of the rainbow flag, Croatia was shocked with an attempt of burning a man in Maksimir Forest Park as well, with his sexual preference being the sole motive for the attack.

 On the other side, this year's pride felt to start stronger than ever. The newly elected mayor Tomislav Tomašević joined the parade, along with stating that Zagreb is a city that is open to everyone. This year arranged a bit differently to adhere to corona measures; around 2500 participated in the event.  

„Twenty of our prides made our city and our republic a better, more democratic, and joyous place for the life of all citizens“, was the main message of the 20th edition of Zagreb Pride.

As reported by Index.hr, the Zagreb Pride association representatives stated that the Croatian LGBTIQ community „became a powerful, responsible and self-aware part of the country, but that the fight isn't over“.

„Our constitution and our laws still do not include in a complete and fair way. Our streets and squares are still not free of hate. We didn't forget nor we will forget victims of homophobic and fascist rampage in this year and all previous years“, stated Zagreb Pride.  

Sadly, while Pride itself went without issues, participants of the pride who walked the streets of Zagreb after pride with rainbow flags faced a series of physical attacks on several locations in Zagreb.  

A week ahead of Pride, conservative MOST Party parliament member Nikola Grmoja complained that commercials displayed during EURO 2020 commercials were LGBTQ propaganda and that kids need to be protected from it and announced that he might include it in his anti-pedophile package. Grmoja's statement caused strong disagreements among the Croatian public, with several people (including celebrities) teasing him that if he wants to start battling pedophilia, he should start from church (as Grmoja is quite clerical). Božo Petrov, president of the MOST party, added more fuel to the fire when he supported Grmoja, stating that „minorities can't dictate what my children can learn in school“. He added that minorities need to be aware that they are minorities and that „we tolerate that," sparking more enrage from the public, with many comparing MOST to the controversial Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Zagreb Pride linked the post-Pride physical attacks with Petrov and Grmoja's public statements, and Petrov and Grmoja announced they would sue Zagreb Pride for slender.

 Nikola_Grmoja_lgbt_article.jpg

Nikola Grmoja, screenshot N1

The Law: "Gay is OK". Popular opinion: "Do it in your homes, not on the streets".

In this political escalation, what does the average Croatian think? Looking at the comments on social networks, it seems the majority of Croatians don't mind gays being gays and living how they like (even if they are not always happy with legal rights the LGBTQ community received). But, one sentiment in that „tolerance“ is particularly worrying.

„Live in your house however you want it. You don't have to wave around, like its a best thing ever“, said one of the online comments on Index.hr beneath the news on Petrov and Grmoja.

So it seems the public does not understand why Pride is important. First of all, as evident, the political climate is such that the battle for equality truly isn't over in Croatia, and Pride is the best way for the community to express what issues LGBTQ still face in Croatia. Additionally, pride month is also educational and supportive, and public presence show to other people who feel the same that they are not alone, as they might feel lonely and unable to find people who feel the same in everyday life.

zagreb_pride_fotka_druga.jpg

© Zagreb Pride

But, even if the law and constitution give the same rights and solves the problem of intolerance of LGBTQ people completely, does that mean that Pride should then be canceled? Well, Croatia won its independence and the war in the nineties. Does that mean we should stop commemorating the Homeland War? Or is it nice to honor and celebrate the victory and triumph over all obstacles Croatia had to face in its independence? Pride is a cultural, commemorative event honoring those who were or still are victims and oppressed for their sexual preference, either in Croatia or in the world. Croatia is a democratic country. Every group, national, ethnical, racial, religious, etc. should have the right to gather and honor its heroes. The right to gather and honor its tragedies and their dates and connect with other people who feel the same. If political elites are so concerned with keeping Croatians in Croatia, then they can't afford to discriminate or attack part of Croatian society solely based on their sexual preference. A preference that, unlike being violent or intolerable, can't be chosen.

Learn more about LGBT rights in Croatia and what LGBT tourists should know on our TC page.

For more about LGBT in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

First Centre For Digital Literacy of the Blind and Visually impaired opens

ZAGREB, 29 June, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović's envoy and human rights advisor Melita Mulić on Tuesday opened the Centre for the Digital Literacy of Blind and Visually Impaired Persons on the premises of the Zagreb Association of Blind Persons.

The centre, the first of its kind in Croatia, is part of the "Network for all" project.

Mulić said that digital literacy would ensure new opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons that previous generations did not have.

"We put great emphasis on diversity as well as on creating new opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons. President Zoran Milanović gladly supports these socially responsible projects and is grateful for the support and love of all those involved," said Mulić.

The president of the Zagreb Association of Blind Persons, Branimir Šutalo, said that the centre needs to be an example of good practice for other associations of the blind and visually impaired.

He said that in addition to Braille, modern times have set digital literacy as a fundamental precondition for the independence of the blind and visually impaired and their full inclusion in the life of the broader community.

"Our association is faced with serious financial challenges because essential IT equipment costs up to HRK 25,000 per user. That is why we particularly want to thank our sponsors, the HEP Group and DM Croatia, which equipped this new IT centre," said Šutalo.

The director of the Apriori World agency, Danijel Koletić, underscored the importance and necessity of adapting web sites for blind and visually impaired persons according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Unfortunately, despite a European directive, the number of WCAG programmed sites are negligible, particularly those by public administration and public companies, he said.

"The relevant law, which should have been completely adapted to the European Directive, has omitted the obligation for elementary and secondary schools to have access to those web sites," he said, noting that this posed a huge challenge in terms of young people's understanding the importance of the inclusion of people with disabilities.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

President Zoran Milanović: To Encroach on Human Freedoms, Necessary to Have Decision of Parliament

ZAGREB, 16 June, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday at the forum "Human Rights in the Coronavirus Crisis" that encroaching on the intimate space of human freedoms required a decision of the parliament, which he would have let it make if he were prime minister during the crisis.

Milanović said at the forum at the Faculty of Law that "in this crisis, we are not talking about human rights but about fundamental human freedoms."

"My right to breathe, to sneeze, to walk, to move - that is my human freedom. In order to affect that deeply intimate space, it is necessary to have a decision of a representative body," Milanović said.

In his presentation, he referred to Articles 16 and 17 of the Constitution and said that the coronavirus situation had met the conditions for declaring a state of emergency.

"Article 17... refers to a state of emergency, imminent danger of war or a natural disaster. It doesn't matter if this virus, and a virus is a natural fact and attacks a living organism, originated as a fact of zoonosis or was released by the Chinese or escaped from the laboratory, it makes no difference. That is a serious matter. It puts lives in danger. If that doesn't meet the conditions (for declaring a state of emergency), nothing does," Milanović said.

He added that if the coronavirus crisis had happened during his term as prime minister, he would have let the parliament vote in the relevant decisions, which would result in greater public trust, instead of having a COVID-19 response team do it.

Everything we watched for a year and a half was surreal, he added. He praised the fact that the vaccine was produced so quickly, adding that everything else was wrong.

Ombudswoman: Citizens had numerous complaints

According to Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter, during the pandemic citizens had questions and complaints related to passes, self-isolation, access to health care since family doctors were not available to them and their examinations were cancelled, and they also sent questions related to the right to work, that is, to work from home or work in the office.

In the past few months, the ombudswoman has been receiving questions about vaccination and in the past few weeks, about COVID passports.

She also said that the frequent changes in the anti-epidemic measures and vague recommendations had led to an increase in dissatisfaction and fear among citizens, which had further undermined trust in institutions.

The ombudswoman said that there were solutions and that her report for 2020 had been discussed in the parliament, and now she hoped that the recommendations would be implemented.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Croatia Sued by European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg for Coronavirus Lockdown Measures

June 2, 2021 – One Croatian man is suing Croatia through the European Human Rights Court for the lockdown measures imposed last year.

The last 15 months were difficult for many people around the world. COVID19 related lockdowns and restrictions made life less than enjoyable for the majority of the population. It wasn't easy living with the fear of the virus and the potential effects of the disease it causes. Lack of socialisation, financial problems and spending long periods of time indoors were perhaps even worse. Taking all this into account, it is easy to understand how the situation frustrated many. Some even decided to sue their governments for a breach of human rights.

The Case

Telegram.hr reports a gentleman from Croatia is suing the government for restrictive measures implemented last year. He started the lawsuit back in April of 2020. Measures that restricted travel outside of the area of residence and those prohibiting gatherings in groups larger than five persons are the ones he has the most problems with. According to him, these measures encroached on his civil rights and prevented him from practicing his religion. European Convention on Human Rights protects civil and religious freedoms. European institutions take this document very seriously. This is why Croatian representatives with the European Court of Human Rights will have to speak on behalf of the Croatian government and respond to the accusations.

Croatian Constitutional Court already confirmed all the decisions made during the COVID19 pandemic were justified and were not unconstitutional. According to them, these measures were important in preventing large-scale epidemics and minimising human casualties. Still, not everyone is convinced of the legitimacy of these decisions. Croatia is not the only country where governments are being sued for civil rights infringement. COVID19 might continue causing damages to national governments way after the pandemic subsides. The unprecedented situation the world found itself in called for immediate action. What will be the long-term effects of these decisions, we are still to discover.  

For more about Covid-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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