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Human Rights Committee considers report of Croatia

24 March 2015

The Human Rights Committee today concluded its consideration of the third periodic report of Croatia on its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Presenting the report, Sandra Artuković Kunšt, Deputy Minister of Justice of Croatia, said Croatia’s accession to the European Union in 2013 had greatly improved its scope for protection of human rights. New legislation encompassed areas including the provision of free legal aid, the protection of persons with mental disorders, a quota for the employment of persons with disabilities and the establishment of a fairer, standardized and transparent welfare system. Advances had also been made in protecting the rights of national minorities, while the adoption of the Life Partnership Act in 2014 represented a progressive step as it introduced civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Progress had been made towards gender equality, typified by the ruling that lists of candidates in State elections must have a minimum of 40 per cent of either gender. Croatia continued to investigate and prosecute perpetrators accused of war crimes and to support victims of the Homeland War of the 1990s. It was also working to combat trafficking in persons, violence against women and the sexual exploitation of children. Efforts were being made to reduce the number of prisoners, enhance health care in prisons and prevent any form of torture.

The Committee commended progress made by Croatia in a number of fields, including gender equality. In their questions Committee Experts expressed concerns about overcrowding in prisons, support for victims of domestic violence and cases of intimidation against journalists conducting investigations into corruption cases and the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. The regretted the lack of participation of minorities, including Roma and Serbs, in political life and at all levels of decision making in Croatia. Obstacles faced by members of the Serb minority in returning to their places of origin and accessing housing and public employment were noted. The problem of de facto segregation of Roma children in schools was still very present in the country, particularly at primary school. In addition, the country still has an estimated 900 people who were still missing, but efforts to identify them appeared to have slowed. Experts also raised concerns about the risk that Croatian arms could find their way into the hands of terrorists, particularly the Islamic State in Syria.

In concluding remarks, Ms. Artuković Kunšt assured the Committee that the Government of Croatia would take their comments and observations into account in its future work.

In concluding remarks, Fabian Omar Salvioli, Chairperson of the Committee, thanked the delegation for the very interesting dialogue which addressed issues such as enforced disappearances, justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity, cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, every area related to equality and non-discrimination and the issue of defamation. It was essential Croatia worked on improving prison conditions, he stressed.

The Delegation of Croatia included representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities, the Office of Gender Equality, and the Permanent Mission of Croatia to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public on Tuesday, 24 March, at 3 p.m. to consider the third periodic report of Monaco (CCPR/C/MCO/3).

Report

The third periodic report of Croatia can be read here: CCPR/C/HRV/3.

Presentation of the Report

SANDRA ARTUKOVIĆ KUNŠT, Deputy Minister of Justice of Croatia, spoke about how Croatia’s accession to the European Union in 2013 had greatly improved its scope for protection of human rights. The accession process included negotiations on a separate chapter on fundamental rights. The new Free Legal Aid Act, introduced on 1 January 2014, improved access to the judicial system for the economically vulnerable categories of citizens. The protection of individuals suffering from mental disabilities was improved through the adoption of a new Act on the Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders, which came into effect on 1 January 2015. Under the new provisions, it was mandatory that persons suffering from mental disorder attended a hearing in a psychiatric institution and only exceptionally at court. On 1 January 2014 the Professional Rehabilitation and Disabled Persons Employment Act came into force, which introduced an obligatory quota for the employment of persons with disabilities and relevant monitoring mechanisms. The Welfare Act which also came into effect on 1 January 2014 established a fairer, standardized and transparent welfare system.

The Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities established further rights to those guaranteed by the constitution. A task force was developing a new National Discrimination Elimination Scheme for the period 2015 to 2020. The adoption of the Life Partnership Act on 15 July 2014 represented a progressive step as it introduced civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Progress had been made towards gender equality with the amendment of the Act on the Election of the Croatian Parliament Representatives in February 2015, which established that the State Election Commission would no longer accept the list of candidates without a minimum of 40 per cent of either gender. Furthermore, the Local Elections Act required the inclusion of 40 per cent of the underrepresented gender. The National Gender Equality policy for the 2011 to 2015 period focused on the promotion of women in business, increasing female participation rate in the labour market and assuring balanced gender participation in the fields of education and employment. On 22 January 2013 Croatia became a signatory of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

Croatia continued to investigate and prosecute perpetrators accused of war crimes. To support victims of the Homeland War of the 1990s, the Government had extended psychosocial and medical aid to victims and witnesses of rape and sexual harassment, as well as disabled military veterans and members of their families, and civilian victims of the war. A new Criminal Code came into effect on 1 January 2013 in line with international documents and the European Union, particularly in the domain of combatting trafficking in persons and the sexual exploitation of children. A draft amendment to the Criminal Code proposed a specific criminal offence of domestic violence which encompassed graver forms of violent behaviour in the domestic sphere. Croatia was also working on prison reform, particularly to reduce the number of prisoners, enhance health care in prisons and prevent any form of torture of arrested and detained persons. Individual legal protection for children in criminal proceedings was also assumed.

Questions by the Experts

The Committee welcomed Croatia’s efforts in the promotion of human rights and ratification of relevant international treaties. An Expert asked whether Croatia had a structured plan to ensure the implementation of the Covenant provisions and the Committee’s recommendations, and involve civil society organizations in that work. Very few courts in Croatia invoked international treaties and it seemed that civil society organizations were not involved in relevant dialogues. The Expert said there was lack of awareness-raising about human rights education and asked to what extent were lawyers and judges trained on international human rights treaties. The establishment of the Office of Ombudsperson and its improved cooperation with civil society organizations was a welcome step. The Expert asked about the funding of the Ombudsperson and whether there were any sanctions for public officials who refused to provide information to her Office.

An Expert expressed surprise by reports that in cases of domestic violence, women were also arrested in nearly 43 per cent of cases, although the man was the perpetrator in 95 per cent of cases. What support was available for victims sexual and domestic violence asked an Expert, noting that shelters for women were ran by civil society organizations and the church. Unmarried women were not entitled to any protection under the law, and there were no provisions in case of stalking.

The export of arms to places where they could used for the purposes of terrorism was also in contravention of the Covenant, said an Expert. Was Croatia concerned about reports that Croatian-made arms could have found their way into the hands of terrorist group the Islamic State in Syria? What steps had been taken by the Croatian Government to ensure that Croat-produced arms would not reach the hands of terrorist organizations, and to provide transparency through relevant information for the general public?

Positive developments in the legal framework to prevent discrimination and inequalities, such as provisions for minority rights and the establishment of the Office of Ombudsman, were welcomed by the Committee. However, there had been some cases of violations of the Covenant regarding the principle of non-discrimination said an Expert, expressing concern that constitutional protection applied only to citizens, not foreigners or stateless persons. There was ambiguity as to who the term ‘citizen’ was applied, he said, and it seemed that foreigners did not have a right to free legal aid.

On the issue of anti-discrimination measures, an Expert asked what concrete measures had been taken to combat discrimination on the base of race and ethnicity, in particular through case law. He asked what concrete measures were taken to protect members of the Serb minority, particularly in light of reports indicating that Croatian Serbs continued to face problems in the areas of the right of return, public sector employment and restitution of tenancy rights.

The Committee had some concerns about discrimination towards Roma said an Expert. She noted the 2010 European Court of Human Rights ruling with respect to Roma children attending segregated classes. She also raised concerns about the public use of the languages of ethnic minorities, and the implementation of the freedom of religion and belief. The Committee had heard reports of an initiative calling for a referendum to raise the threshold for the use of minority languages and alphabets in Croatia. An Expert asked about the cultural preservation of national minorities, and asked about concrete measures taken to ensure the right of use of minority languages in public. There were some serious allegations about limits on the use of the Cyrillic alphabet and Serbian language such as in Vukovar.

A state of emergency could be proclaimed due to war, clear and imminent danger, or natural disasters, noted an Expert, asked whether constitutional provisions were sufficient to protect every resident of Croatia.

There seemed to be little case law on hate crimes, despite some instances of hate speech, by public figures, on the Internet or at sport events. There was a hate crimes protocol noted an Expert, but what practical measures had been taken? How would the new legislation on the rights of persons with disabilities be implemented in cases of persons with disabilities who were already under guardianship and institutionalized?
An Expert asked about convictions and sentencing of people who had attacked participants of a Gay Pride parade.

Responses by the Delegation

Human rights were a constitutional category in Croatia, visible in a number of laws, and their promotion and protection ranked high on the Government’s priority list, said a delegate. During the negotiations for accession to the European Union Croatia underwent detailed screening and the Government adopted hundreds of laws to adhere to the European Union legal standards. Croatia was still working on their implementation.

The Office of Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities oversaw the adherence of domestic laws with European and international human rights mechanisms. It was a contact point for a number of international organizations, such as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the United Nations bodies, explained a delegate. The Office oversaw the integration of foreigners into Croatian society, monitored the implementation of Ombudsman’s recommendations, collected information about hate crimes and other relevant statistics, and worked to combat trafficking in persons. The Office monitored the implementation of constitutional provisions for the protection of national minorities. It also monitored the national strategy for social inclusion of Roma. The Office provided technical support to the Working Group on Hate Crimes, the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking and the National Committee for the Implementation of the Strategy for Roma. Many civil society organizations participated in the work of those bodies. The Office had set up a working group to elaborate a new National Plan for the Fight against Discrimination.

The Commission for Human Rights was established in December 2012 and tasked to monitor all the strategies and programmes in the promotion of human rights, propose any relevant changes and direction, collect information on the situation of human rights, monitor the implementation of international human rights treaties, cooperate with civil society organizations and the Ombudsperson. The Commission had held seven sessions since its establishment on various subjects including free legal aid, lesbian and gay rights, transgender rights, human rights education and capacity building. However, only three sessions were attended by civil society organizations.

Regarding dissemination of the Covenant, a delegate said it was published in Croatian in March 2013 on the website of the Ministry of Justice. It was not currently available due to the redesigning of the website, she noted. She also provided an update on court rulings that the Committee were concerned may have violated the Covenant. The Vojnovic case, involving a request for the restoration of tenancy right, was resolved successfully through mediation. In the Paraga case, in which the plaintiff claimed he had been deprived of liberty without sound basis, the Supreme Court of Croatia ruled additional reparations.

The 2013 report on the implementation of the National Human Rights Plan showed that 158 measures had been implemented in the area of human rights protection. Great advancements were made in judicial form with the introduction of a reasonable duration of court proceedings, legal aid, access to information, and protection of employers’ rights in terms of minimum salary. Priorities for the new National Human Rights Plan included increased transparency of the work of public administration.

The Anti-Discrimination Law came into effect on 1 January 2009 and designated the Office of Ombudsman as the central body to deal with such cases. The capacities of the Office of Ombudsman had been improved: its mandate had been extended and its coordination with other relevant bodies and judicial influence were strengthened. Human rights and anti-discrimination training courses were organized for judges, lawyers, civil society organizations, employers and media. There had also been various awareness raising campaigns. The new Criminal Code sanctioned racial discrimination through two offences: public incitement of hate, and violation of equality. So far 192 judges and lawyers had participated in training on anti-discrimination, with very positive feedback.

In the prevention of discrimination, Croatia had a unique experience in Europe and in the world, said a delegate. Croatia still felt the consequences of the war in the 1990s. Since the end of the war, the Croatian authorities are very interested in issues affecting housing and services available to them. The war in the 1990s resulted in massive population displacement in Croatia and created a great challenge in providing accommodation for displaced persons. Some €5.5 billion was spent on providing accommodation for internally displaced persons and refugees.

A register was established as well as a special office tasked to provide accommodation and process the requests of the restoration of tenancy rights. Some properties have long been used by some people. The issue was delicate and the authorities tried to maintain a balance between the rights and interests of each party. Accommodation was secured for 35,000 families. Out of 17,820 requests for the restoration of tenancy rights, 9,566 were positively resolved, 3,820 were rejected and 4,434 remained to be solved.
Croatia hosted 400,000 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the delegate recalled that 250,000 people had left Croatia.

On the subject of returnees, a delegate said people who wanted to return to Croatia could receive short-term aid for a period of six months, including temporary housing solutions. The Government was aware that it was expected to resolve accommodation and tenancy rights cases more quickly. However, the key obstacle to return lay in the time that had passed since persons left their original homes. Many displaced persons had found employment in the host country and integrated there.

Croatia cooperated with regional countries and international organizations in order to close the refugee question. It participated in the Regional Housing Programme, which was coordinated by the Council of Europe Development Bank, and aimed to secure durable housing solutions for the remaining refugees in the Western Balkans. The Government welcomed the United Nations Refugee Agency’s recommendation for the cessation of refugee status for persons from Croatia, which contributed to the closure of the refugee question in the region.

Responding to the question about the sale of Croatian arms and ammunition a delegate noted that in 2013 the Government signed an international agreement on the trade in arms and supported international efforts to standardize the arms trade in respect of human rights standards. The Ministry of Economy was in charge of the export of Croatian arms and equipment and it issued permits for their sale. As part of that process the Ministry asked for relevant documents providing information about the final user of the arms and ammunition. That control mechanism contributed to the prevention of misuse of arms, the fight against terrorism, and the promotion of global security in general. The criteria for export permits was as follows: the respect of international obligations, human rights and international humanitarian law by the destination State; the internal political situation; the State’s role in strengthening regional peace and security; the behaviour of the destination country towards the international community: the destination country’s stance on terrorism and respect for international laws; and the nature of its alliances. As Croatia was in the midst of one of the main arms smuggling routes, the so-called Balkan route, it produced a national strategy to control the flow of small and light arms, their trade and production.

Mechanisms for the provision of psychosocial treatment in cases of domestic violence existed in prisons, hospitals and outside institutions. There were concrete standards for the implementation of psychosocial treatment. Hired professionals who implemented it were required to submit relevant reports upon completion, whereas courts issued their assessment of implemented treatment.

Croatia constitutionally recognized 22 national minorities, including Roma. Last year, the Government spent about 1.3 million euros to provide education for the Roma national minority. Adequate funds were secured for integrated education of Roma, and for workshops with Roma parents on the importance of school attendance and elimination of delinquent behaviour. Positive developments were seen in the higher school attendance and fewer instances of school drop-out among the Roma children.

Civil society organizations were part of the monitoring mechanisms of the rights situation in Croatia, said a delegate, giving as an example the excellent cooperation with civil society in drafting the Law for the Protection of Persons with Mental Disabilities.

The National Plan for the Combatting of Human Trafficking focused on the education of police personnel, including border police. The State Police School organized 15 hours of training on human trafficking and sentencing and 262 members of the border police had undergone relevant training. Additional training courses were delivered on illegal forms of immigration, child delinquency, the rights of immigrants and their integration in society.

Primary free legal aid was available for all Croatian citizens. It was also available to foreigners with temporary and permanent residence permits. The Government would also provide free legal aid to foreigners illegally residing in Croatia in cases of their deportation or return. Asylum seekers also had to right to ask for free legal aid. The Government did its best to expand access to free legal aid to the greatest number of categories of vulnerable populations but, in line with a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, the Government reserved the right to curtail access to legal aid in certain cases.

Questions by the Experts

An Expert raised the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 1990s. He expressed concern that many war crimes cases were still unresolved, and that many cases seemed to have been directed at members of Serbian minority. It seemed that the Croatian Government had not given priority to the Committee’s previous comments and recommendation on the war crimes committed during and after Operation Storm in August 1995. He noted that there was a 70 per cent acquittal rate in those cases, and enquired about the reasons for such a high rate.

Concerns were expressed about Croatia’s cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, in spite of the recently signed memorandum of cooperation between Croatia and the Tribunal. There was an impression that without the signed memorandum of cooperation, Croatia’s prosecution would not go forward. The same Expert noted that the four largest county courts in Croatia were given jurisdiction over war crimes. However, according to civil society organizations, they were not given additional resources to carry out their new mandate. He added that he was not sure what the national and regional level priorities in the prosecution of war crimes really meant. What priority did the Government give to absentia trials as it seemed that a greater proportion of Serbs were tried in absentia. He asked for more information about the application of command responsibility in war crimes cases, and about support for victims and witnesses. Shadow reports from non-governmental organizations indicated that the widening the scope of support for victims and witnesses was very much needed.

The Committee requested statistics on the use of pre-trial detention and police detention. An Expert expressed satisfaction that there were very few cases of torture and ill treatment in Croatia. However, prison overcrowding was a problem, and in some Croatian prisons the occupancy rate was higher than 150 per cent. More use of non-custodial sentencing could be an option. The Expert noted that the use of cage beds in mental health facilities had been abolished but regretting that there was no monitoring in place in those facilities.

The European Commission had stated that Croatia’s sentencing for crimes of trafficking in persons was lower than for other crimes. According to the United States Trafficking in Persons Report of 2014, Croatia was termed ‘Tier 2’ which meant that it did not fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The number of trafficking cases were higher in international reports (some 8,000) than in the Croatian Government’s reports. What was the reason for the discrepancies?

Croatia was commended for providing impressive figures of housing reconstructions and investments towards durable solutions for returnees and internally displaced persons. However, concerns remained about the pace of the programmes, and it was noted that since 2012 the housing care programme had slowed down. A United Nations Refugee Agency report of 2014 indicated that 30,000 families who lost their tenancy rights were still unable to gain compensation for their lost property. The Roma community was particularly vulnerable in that respect.

The right to freedom of expression, association and demonstration was discussed, with an Expert expressing concern about threats to journalists who investigated cases of corruption. Several attacks on journalists had been reported. In 2014 Croatia ranked 65 on the World Press Freedom Index compiled by the organization Reporters Without Borders. Croatia had an excessive concentration of media ownership which caused journalists to impose self-censorship. Defamation provisions in the Criminal Code needed to be amended. As for the right to freedom of association and demonstration, the Expert asked about status of hate crimes in relation to the Gay Pride march in Split in 2011. Croatia should promote a culture of tolerance.

On the protection of national minorities concerns were raised about negative police practices such as the ethnic profiling of the Roma population. They were often arrested for assault and theft. There was lack of political representation of the Roma and Serb minorities, despite the Government’s plan to increase the representation of minorities in the administration and decision-making by 5.5 per cent. Despite the Constitutional Act on the Rights of Minorities, there seemed to be no stimulus for the use of minority languages in media. Access to employment for minorities was also problematic, as were their property rights. Some reports indicated that property was sold to minority members at the prices that exceeded market value. The problem of segregation of Roma children persisted. What measures were taken to reduce segregation in schools?

Another Expert inquired about the rule of procedure that regulated unaccompanied migrant children and legislation on the guardianship of minors.

The issue of disappeared persons was raised by an Expert who noted Croatia’s great efforts to exhume and identify bodies. Nevertheless, 900 persons were still unaccounted for and efforts to exhume and identify their bodies seemed to have slowed down. There were also allegations of an ethnic bias when bodies were exhumed and reports that the bodies of victims of war crimes committed during and after Operation Storm in August 1995 were not exhumed. In addition, some files on alleged crimes committed during the Operation Storm, such as those of Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, and Commander Ivan Cermak, were unavailable during their trial at the Hague Tribunal. Were those documents now publicly available?

Responses by the Delegation

The Head of the Delegation said the consequences of the 1990s war presented Croatia with the greatest challenge in establishing a legal framework for human rights. The large number of unprocessed war crimes was due to the large number committed. The Committee’s observation that most war crimes were directed against members of the Serbian minority was a flawed logic. If such logic was to be followed, then the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia could also be accused of subjectivity because most of the sentenced perpetrators were Serbs. It was true that initially Croatian military members were not prosecuted, but today a great number of cases were being conducted against them.

The Delegation was of opinion that it would not be proper to comment on the ongoing trials regarding war crimes allegedly committed during Operation Storm in August 1995. Some cases had been processed while others were sent for retrial. It was stressed that Croatia was fully cooperating with the Tribunal in The Hague and it noted that it had fulfilled 979 requests. The main reason behind unprocessed crimes was the unavailability of perpetrators, witnesses and evidence. Due to the excessive number of committed crimes, Croatia needed to set up certain priorities. There was now one national priority and more than 70 regional priorities. There was no ethnic bias in prosecuting war crimes, and the principle of command responsibility was observed. Some 23 high ranking Croatian police and military officers had been prosecuted for war crimes.

Concerning the use of pre-trial detention and the treatment of detainees, a delegate said legislative changes were being made in line with international standards on torture and ill treatment. The Ministry of Interior Affairs introduced systematic monitoring of police officers and their behaviour towards detainees. Detainees were registered and their cases further monitored. Immense efforts were being made to improve prison conditions through relevant penal politics and reconstruction of prison buildings. The number of prisons now corresponded to the number of detainees. However increased capacity was still needed in high-security prisons. The Parliament recently held a session in Lepoglava, the highest security prison in Croatia, so parliamentary representatives could see prison conditions first hand and propose concrete measures for improvement. The Zagreb county prison was currently under reconstruction and its renovations would improve conditions. Regarding the institutionalization of persons with mental disabilities, a delegate informed the Committee that a new law would introduce care for persons outside such institutions.

Croatia had implemented three national strategic plans for combatting trafficking in persons. A free hotline for human trafficking victims had existed for years, as well as two shelters for victims. Cooperation with civil society organizations was very good in that respect. Croatia mostly dealt with internal cases of trafficking. In 2012 there were 12 victims recorded, in 2013 31, and in 2014 37 recorded cases. The Delegation was unaware of the figure of 8,000 victims of trafficking in persons cited by the Committee. It was noted that judges in Croatia did not hand down sentence until they were absolutely certain that those were indeed trafficking crimes.

Responding to the question on the use of the Serbian language and Cyrillic alphabet in Vukovar, a delegate said the Government condemned the events of 2013 when public signs in Serbian Cyrillic were taken down or destroyed. Serbs made up 34.87 per cent of the population of Vukovar. According to the law, if there was more than one third of the minority population in a certain municipality, they were entitled to use their language and alphabet. However, as Vukovar was Croatia’s Stalingrad, local relations were still sensitive, commented a delegate. The Supreme Court had ruled that the referendum proposed in 2013 on an increase in the threshold for the use of minority languages was unconstitutional.

Concerning the employment rates of national minorities a delegate responded that in 2014 some 3.51 per cent of national minorities were employed in the public administration. However, since little more than seven per cent of the population were national minorities it was difficult to achieve European Union standards in that respect. As for the protection of national minorities’ cultural inheritance, the Government had reconstructed several Serbian Orthodox Churches, noted a delegate.

Following the attacks on the Gay Pride march in Split in 2011, 65 cases were filed and they were all resolved. Changes to the Criminal Code would amend provisions for defamation so that only the most serious cases would be prosecuted.

The Government’s Office for Gender Equality was in charge of the implementation of all programmes and activities, and application of international gender equality standards. All relevant international documents were translated into Croatian and made publicly available. Relevant indicators on the implementation of the National Gender Equality Policy were regularly monitored, and general awareness on gender equality was significantly increased. The Government paid great attention to involving women in politics and last year Croatia elected its first female president.

To combat violence against women both the authorities and civil society organizations were involved. There were awareness-raising campaigns and legislation to prohibit domestic violence. Croatia would soon be able to provide support for the victims of sexual violence during the Homeland War of the 1990s. The Government recognized that it was necessary to increase the trust of citizens in its ability to protect the victims of domestic violence. The Government did not own any shelters. They were all operated by civil society organizations and financed through public tenders of the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth.

Action plans to improve the situation of rural women were being prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry’s programme of rural development included gender perspective as a horizontal issue, and it would be approved by the European Commission. The programme aimed, among other things, to advance female rural business projects.

Concluding remarks

SANDRA ARTUKOVIĆ KUNŠT, Deputy Minister of Justice of Croatia, thanked the Committee for their comments and observations and assured it that the Government would take them into account in its future work.

FABIAN OMAR SALVIOLI, Chairperson of the Committee, noted that Croatia had 48 hours to provide written information and additional responses to the Committee. He thanked the delegation for the very interesting dialogue which addressed issues such as enforced disappearances, justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity, cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, every area related to equality and non-discrimination and the issue of defamation. It was essential Croatia worked on improving prison conditions, he stressed.

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