After decades of Balkan wars, UN expert urges new push for justice – global issues

“It is important for the government to give an unequivocal signal to the community and the international community, of its commitment to a comprehensive and complete transitional justice process aimed at addressing past abuses, preventing their recurrence, and laying the foundations for a peaceful society that respects all,” Fabian Salvioli, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truthJustice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition statment At the conclusion of an official visit to the country, which lasted six days.

Reply to extremism

While he commended “the progress made after the conflict, particularly during the process of Croatia’s accession to the European Union”, in the prosecution of war criminals, the search for missing persons, and institutional reforms aimed at ensuring the rule of law and democracy and the promotion and protection of human rights. human rights, the UN expert noted, however, that “Progress seems to have stalled in the past seven years“.

The Special Rapporteur noted growing concerns about “the prospects for effective social reconciliation, particularly as a result of escalating instances of hate speech, the glorification of war crimes, and the relativization of ICTY decisions and national courts.”

Mr. Salvioli referred to the legislative measures taken by the Government to curb this very worrying trend, but also noted that implementation was insufficient.

“I urge the relevant police, judicial, legislative and executive authorities to take all necessary measures to respond appropriately to the increase in extremism and hatred expressed in certain sectors of society, to ensure that steps taken so far towards reconciliation are not irreversibly reversed,” he He said.

recognition of the past

In Croatia, the UN expert met with senior government officials, civil society and human rights representatives and survivors, and visited mass grave sites, exhumation sites, memorials to the 1990s conflict and World War II concentration camp sites.

He pointed out that “In order for the transition and reconciliation process to be effective, “it is essential to recognize the suffering and dignity of all victims.”, as well as “to pass on their stories to current and future generations, not only through curricula and textbooks, but also through cultural activities and through the media.”

The Special Rapporteur explained that “the legacy of past abuses, in all their complexity, must be adequately and comprehensively addressed to assist the process of social reconciliation, placing victims at the center of the process.”

Country status reporting

The independent expert will report in full on his visit to Human Rights Council Next year.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council Check and report again On a specific topic related to human rights or the state of the country. The positions are ceremonial and they do not get paid for their work.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo