Government preparing measures to prevent radicalisation

NEWS 22.10.2020 18:07
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Source: N1

Following recent events which point to an increasing radicalisation of Croatian society, the government has tasked the Coordinating Committee for Homeland Security System to analyse the situation and make its recommendations on preventing radicalisation to the relevant bodies.

The Coordinating Committee will inform the government with the measures aimed at strengthening existing security risk management and resilience to radicalisation in society and, pursuant to the law on homeland security, the National Security Council as well.

“The spreading and strengthening of radicalisation in society generally leads to violent extremism and/or terrorism and represents a grave security threat to the state, to the exercise of citizens’ fundamental human rights and freedoms and to the rule of law,” said a conclusion presented by Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved at Thursday’s cabinet meeting.

The attempted triple murder, with elements of terrorism, that occurred on October 12 in St. Mark’s Square indicates that radicalisation has emerged in a part of Croatian society, said Medved.

“The line has been crossed”

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic recalled that a few days ago the line was crossed.

“It’s not the same being the target of hate speech in the political arena, on the Internet, through media articles and attacks – that’s not the problem,” underscored Plenkovic and added that the majority of government members, and he himself for years, have been aware of this.

“I don’t know what I haven’t read about myself or any of you who are more frequently the target of attacks by others,” he underlined, saying that it never crossed his mind to sue anyone.

“I am saying this because of the HND (Journalists’ Association), publishers, the media. Never. And there were many articles that warranted a lawsuit. That is because I considered that freedom of speech is more important than legal action against those who spread hate,” he added.

However, he underlined, when inciting to hate and intolerance leads to violent extremism and terrorism, the line has been crossed.

“And that is why we are conducting this debate today. Because we never had a situation in society like the one we experienced ten days ago. That is the key line of division. These brave anonymous persons or those who sometimes sign themselves on the Internet are one thing, while it is something else when someone with a firearm attempts a triple murder in front of Government House. That is the essential distinction,” he said.

That is why the message that is being sent with this conclusion is that the relevant bodies, and all those who should be are on the Coordinating Committee, should thoroughly analyse the situation, establish better coordination between them and exchange information, and recommend measures that we can take in society, said Plenkovic.

“Let those who approve think twice”

The Prime Minister underlined that the government did not “find out about hate speech on Monday.” “May those who think that we became aware of this on Monday hear me well. No. On Monday we realised that someone is in a position to come before Government House and attempt to murder a police officer. That is what we realised, while we have been aware of hate speech for quite some time, better than many others. That is the essence,” he underlined.

That is why, he reiterated, three parallel activities will be conducted – one is the concrete case of the attempted murder of a police office which will be handled by the competent institutions, the other is the institutional fight against radicalisation, and the third is the political struggle against those, of whom there are quite a few on the political scene, he said, who either approve or find understanding for what happened.