Several hundred people took part in a March for Life in downtown Rijeka on Saturday, held under the motto "Let's protect unborn children, the most endangered minority in Croatia".
Organisers from the Malaika Association said the March for Life was a peaceful walk by citizens with the aim to underline the importance of supporting life as a person’s fundamental right.
Barbara Brezac Benigar said ahead of the march that the participants believe life began at conception and that all human rights began then as well.
“We are defending those unborn lives… Today we are here as the voice which wants to defend human freedom for those who can’t do it themselves,” she said.
Shortly after the march started, about ten women activists blocked the march, carrying a banner which security immediately removed. The activists were then escorted away by the police.
Another march called the March for Freedom, began nearby at the same time as the March for Life, organised by Citizens of Rijeka, an initiative of several civil society organisations.
A March for Life was also held in the eastern city of Osijek.
“With this march, we wish to protect life, legally and socially, from its beginning, because the right to live is a fundamental human right and every other human right stems from the right to live,” march coordinator Lidija Blagojevic said, adding that “science and all schools of medicine in Croatia agree that life begins at conception.”
The president of the “In the Name of the Family” association, Zeljka Markic, said the goal of the March for Life was the social, legal and every other protection of life, from conception to death. She said it was necessary to amend laws and step up adoption procedures.