ZAGREB – Growing opposition to court ruling

An increasing number of people are opposing the ruling of Croatia’s High Misdemeanour Court, which decided on Wednesday (3 June) that the chant “For the Homeland Ready” at the start of a song by popular singer Marko Perkovic Thompson does not amount to an offence.

While the NGO House of Human Rights said the court’s ruling doesn’t change the fact that this Ustasha salute symbolises Nazi and fascist ideology and is contrary to Article 39 of the Constitution, while the Democrats led by parliamentarian Mirando Mrsić suggested yesterday that the salute should be outlawed.

The day before, the Civic-Liberal Alliance (GLAS) said that the ruling is yet another step in distancing Croatia from civilised countries and peoples. However, the ex-presidential candidate, Homeland Movement party leader, Miroslav Škoro, disagrees.

Historian Ivo Goldstein said that the court’s ruling is not in line with the council’s 2018 recommendations on regulating symbols, insignia and other features of totalitarian regimes and movements.  

But Škoro, himself a popular singer and ex-candidate of presidential elections in January 2020, was among the few who supported the Court’s ruling.

On Facebook, Skoro wrote that he finds it absurd that the chant could be brought into question, particularly as “Yugoslav and also Communist symbols are being freely put on display ”.

”We must never forget to whom the credit goes for our freedom, and also who is liable for our suffering and which insignia they used”, he added. 

Four of the judges voted in favour of interpreting the chant as being in violation of public order and peace on Wednesday (4 May), while 15 had voted against and one abstained.

However, the High Misdemeanour Court’s ruling in the Thompson case goes against a series of its final decisions between 2015 and November 2019, which had penalised those who uttered the chant.

In June 2019, the High Misdemeanour Court fined singer Mario Roso in Makarska for shouting the chant at the start of the song written by Thompson during a concert.

And the Constitutional Court has ruled that the chant is a salute that contravenes the Constitution’s fundamental principles. (Karla Junicic,

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