UN calls on Croatia to ensure use of Serbian Cyrillic

The UN Human Rights Committee has urged Croatia to ensure the right of minorities to use their language and alphabet.

Source: Tanjug

This particularly concerns the use of Serbian Cyrillic in the town of Vukovar.

The report of the UN committee on the state of human rights in Croatia, published on its website, expressed concern that persons belonging to national minorities face problems in enjoying the right to use their own language, "particularly (Serbian) Cyrillic."

Croatia "should undertake additional measures, including positive measures, to promote inter-ethnic tolerance in its diverse society, as well as to provide full implementation for the right to equal usage of minority languages and scripts in accordance with its constitutional and legal framework, with special emphasis on the usage of Cyrillic script in the city of Vukovar and municipalities concerned," the report said.

Croatia should also, the document stated, "take additional measures to promote inter-ethnic tolerance in its diverse society."

The committee also expressed concern "about the practice of ethnic profiling by law enforcement officials targeting certain ethnic minorities, particularly Roma, who appear to be disproportionately affected by frequent identity checks and interrogations, in the absence of any suspicion of wrongdoing."

The committee reiterated its previous concern "at the continued reports of racist attack against members of ethnic minority groups, particularly against Roma and Serbs." The reports also expresses concern over "the the lack of adequate investigation and prosecution as well as the lack of adequate compensation for the victims," and recommends "special training to law enforcement personnel aimed at promoting respect for human rights and tolerance for diversity."

When it comes to prosecuting war crimes, the UN committee "welcomes what has been done in this field so far, but regrets the slow pace of investigations of such cases."

The report also "takes note of the information provided by the delegation concerning the criteria for the prosecution of war crimes, but also notes that the selection of cases (including the former focus on in absentia cases) apparently remains disproportionately directed at ethnic Serbs."

The committee said it was "concerned at the difficulties faced by individuals trying to obtain compensation from the state for human rights violations during the conflict, in particular regarding war crimes."


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