Eight former HDZ members sent an open letter to the European People's Party on Wednesday to warn about the leadership's "totalitarian and non-democratic methods" in dealing with those with different political views.
In the letter to the EPP; which is holding a congress in Zagreb, they say they found out from the media that they were expunged from the party membership and that they were expelled "for allegedly using 'hate speech' in communication in closed WhatsApp and Viber groups of HDZ members."
They reject such accusations "with abhorrence and entirely" and note that, as intellectuals, they condemn hate speech and that they have never used nor approved of it. They add that they honoured the party's code of ethics and statute, and that they were constructive critics of the current leadership's actions.
They also say the publication of the texts violated the confidentiality of their communication.
HDZ Zagreb branch expels 8 members over hate speech
The HDZ's Zagreb branch recently decided to launch disciplinary proceedings against eight of its members due to a particularly serious violation of their obligations as regulated by the party statute, and the party's court of honour decided to expel them unconditionally
The decision was made at the proposal of the branch presidency because they spread inappropriate messages whose content constituted hate speech, and demonstrated disloyalty to the HDZ and openly lobbied for the presidential candidates of other political camps.
The decision was made after it was determined that by posting such messages on social media they breached the party's statute and, with their communication, harmed the reputation, honour and dignity of the HDZ and its members.