The fall-out from the Sarajevo Mass continues. The Mass, held under the auspices of Cardinal Vinko Puljić, held to remember the victims of what is known as the Bleiburg Tragedy, was misrepresented being a commemoration of Nazi collaborators. Few in the media troubled themselves to check Cardinal Puljić’s words, despite being available in English at the BiH Catholic Church website. One such attack came from a surprising quarter – the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, herself from Sarajevo, in a statement and comments she made on Twitter. Surprising, as her comments sided with the protesters and not the Church and victims of communism. An odd attitude, given the European bodies have condemned Communism as well as Fascism.
Now, international lawyer Luka Misetić has written a letter of complaint to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Croatian Marija Pejčinović Burić. Croatian-American Luka Misetić was the lawyer who successfully defended Croatian General Ante Gotovina, seeing him acquitted on all charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague in 2012.
In his letter, directly quoting Mijatović, Misetić says she “is entitled to her own personal political beliefs. This is not subject to dispute. However, in her capacity as Commissioner, Ms. Mijatović is not entitled to use the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights to defend her personal political and military heroes (the partisans and communists) from attempts to commemorate crimes they committed.”
He further says: “..Commissioner Mijatović’s actions in this case directly undermine Resolution 1481 (2006) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which expressed the “Need for international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes..”
He asks that Burić refer the matter to relevant oversight bodies, to assess matters and take action if necessary. He also suggests as a first step that Mijatović acknoledges the Bleiburg Tragedy, and that she calls on Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to distance themselves from these crimes and to unambiguously condemn them.
The full letter, worth reading in its entirity, can be seen as a pdf: Letter – Marija Pejcinovic Buric