Croatia’s Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic Flogs A Dead Horse At UN Human Rights Council

Vesna Pusic Photo: Screenshot UN WEB TV 3 March 2015

Vesna Pusic
Photo: Screenshot UN WEB TV 3 March 2015


Croatia’s foreign minister and deputy Prime Minister Vesna Pusic is in the grand scheme of the UN map – insignificant. However, when she stands up at a UN event giving a speech on violations of human rights then Croats, indeed the world, need to pay attention, for she is the very example of hypocrisy on two legs.

She spoke of violations of human rights and how the world – UN – should fight against these when her own track record on these matters in Croatia tells us the fight under her “tutelage” has no chance of any success.

So, she flogged a dead horse in Geneva on 2 March 2015!

For years now she has served in the high position of power in Croatia and yet has done absolutely nothing with respect to the plight for justice coming from war crime rape victims from Croatia’s Homeland War. She has done nothing to ensure rapists are thoroughly dealt with and brought to justice; she has done nothing in the possible pursuit of removing the amnesty from prosecution and impunity for war crimes afforded to many Serb rapists, some of whom are still freely walking the streets of Vukovar, keeping their victims in continuous distress, for instance.

Please see this documentary “Sunny” published in 2014 to give a voice to women and men who were victims of rape in the war in an effort to grant them the status of victims of war crimes entitled to every means of assistance and support. To bring the perpetrators to justice.



And yet, Vesna Pusic had the gall to speak in Geneva this week, lecturing the world on how it should deal with sexual violence as a form of human rights violation!

Did she speak at the UN Human Rights Council with the intention of paving a way to perhaps secure herself an international position, perhaps in Human Rights field, once she is no longer in power in Croatia? My answer to this question is – yes. But I do so dread being a citizen of the world where people like Vesna Pusic give speeches and in real life do the opposite of what they are preaching, or do nothing to better the world; stand idly by while the world around them alarmingly deteriorates.
There are three types of human rights violations in the world today, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday 2nd of March.

The violations in question are violations of women’s rights worldwide in fighting sexual violence, violations of human rights in Ukraine and violations of the freedom of speech manifested as hate speech. One of the most extreme examples of human rights violations are ISIL decapitations, the Foreign Ministry quoted the minister as saying in her address.
“… when we examine the functioning of countries’ judiciary we look at how well they fight corruption…white collar crime … but never ever have I seen an evaluation of a country’s judiciary on how well it fights sexual violence. How well it prosecutes rape cases. How effective it is in fighting through its courts, through its judiciary system sexual violence. How well it prosecutes the perpetrators. How well it fights impunity for sexual violence in peace time let alone in times of war. And make no mistake, not fighting sexual violence in peace time is directly related to widespread sexual violence in times of war…this is one area which demonstrates that however long we have been aware of the problem without fighting and finding efficient ways of addressing the problem in a way in which it will go away, in a way in which it will become centre stage problem, not just one of those things, it will stay and it will spread. So I think we need a new onslaught, new crusade against sexual violence, against impunity for crimes committed either in war or in peace…” Pusic said in her speech.

Then in the same speech Vesna Pusic spoke of violations of freedom of speech that are manifested in hate speech! And yet, in Croatia, she as a highly positioned member of the government has done nothing to sanction (at least by way of public statements) hate speech that comes in the form of labeling as fascism all expressions of Croatian patriotism or democratic avenues of protest against violations of rights, such as is the case with the current war veterans protest that is well into its fourth month in Zagreb. It cannot elude any reasonable mind to see that her government is the leading force behind this hate speech and when people, for instance, point to the facts of communist crimes she and her lot label that as hate speech! She fails to acknowledge that there is no hate speech in citing facts such as mass graves, mass murders – victims of communist Yugoslavia regime, and the like.
“…Hate speech is a form of mobilizing global lynch mobs. People who decide that they have the right to hate other people so much that they go and kill people in our streets…or people who think differently who have different political opinion. Hate speech has been extremely effective. I don’t remember in my long life seeing it as effective as it is today. To mobilise people to kill other people, to violate their human rights …” Pusic said.

What a pathetic liar!

Vesna Pusic lived and thrived in Communist Yugoslavia, in a communist family who were, I believe, well aware of human rights violations of people who were against the communist regime; who had done nothing to protest against such widespread human rights violations. If she was not aware during her life in Yugoslavia of Tito’s communist purges where hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed, others tortured and imprisoned because of their political opinions, then she has become aware of them after more than 650 mass graves of communist crimes victims were unearthed in Croatia, particularly after 1990’s. But still turned the other way!

Furthermore, she and her government fund exorbitantly the Documenta NGO of which her brother Zoran Pusic is the President of the Board, and which deals with “the past” but avoids with every fiber of its being to address communist crimes! The crimes that have left multitudes of victims; the crimes that are left unaddressed – still, and which continue to feed profound distress in that society.

The European Court of Human Rights has identified a number of forms of expression, which are to be considered hate speech – offensive and contrary to the Convention on Human Rights (including racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, aggressive nationalism and discrimination against minorities and immigrants). However, the Court is also careful to make a distinction in its findings between, on the one hand, genuine and serious incitement to extremism and, on the other hand, the right of individuals (including journalists and politicians) to express their views freely and to “offend, shock or disturb” others.
There is no universally accepted definition of the expression “hate speech” and various courts throughout the “Western” world have established various parameters making it possible to characterise “hate speech” in order to exclude it from the protection afforded to freedom of expression or freedom of assembly and association.

A person with such an appalling record in fighting violations of human rights (eg prosecuting rapists, removing impunity of rapists…), a person with such an appalling record of doing nothing to improve the welfare of victims of human rights violations, such as those in Croatia that relate to the forms of human rights violations Vesna Pusic spoke of in Geneva this week, has no place in a UN Human Rights Council! Of that I am convinced and I do not stand alone in this! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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