A memorial ceremony was held on Friday at the Roma cemetery in Ustica, about 100 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, for more than 16,000 Roma killed in the Jasenovac concentration camp during the Second World War.
The commemoration, organised by the Roma organisation Kali Sari and the Council of the Roma Minority in Croatia, was held on International Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day, or the Porajmos, which is marked in Croatia on August 2.
Attending the commemoration were Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic on behalf of the government, Sisak-Moslavina County Prefect Ivan Zinic as President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's envoy, Deputy Parliament Speaker Sinisa Hajdas Doncic, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
After prayers, Bozinovic and MP Marija Mackovic laid wreaths and paid tribute to the Roma victims.
Addressing those gathered, the representative of the Roma community in the Croatian parliament, MP Veljko Kajtazi, said that he was pleased that after seventy years, people started talking about the Roma victims of the Ustasha-run Jasenovac concentration camp.
He added that he could not be completely satisfied with the status of the Roma community in Croatia but that he hoped that the operating programme for the Roma would be implemented in cooperation with the government before the end of its term.
"We hope that with the assistance of the City of Zagreb and the Croatian government next year we will open a Roma Memorial Centre here," Kajtazi said and added that Roma in Croatia can significantly contribute to Croatia's economic development along with other citizens.