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A Mural Dedicated to Mihajlo Hrastov Has Not Been Removed Even One Year Later

Large karlovac

Zagreb, September 21, 2022
Today we mark the 31st anniversary of the murder of 13 disarmed and captured JNA reservists on the bridge over the Korana River in Karlovac.
Since last year, by the decision of the City Council of Karlovac, that bridge has been called the Bridge of the "Grom" Special Unit, despite the fact that Mihajlo Hrastov, a member of that very unit, was legally convicted for the murders committed on that bridge.
In a trial that lasted a total of 23 years, Mihajlo Hrastov was convicted and sentenced in 2015 to four years in prison, including the time he spent in custody and serving his sentence in 1992 and 2009/2010. In 2016, he was released.
Last year, on the underpass near the aforementioned bridge, a mural was painted to Mihajlo Hrastov. The mural was "opened" by Hrastov's presence and his words: "I did my work, as they say, fairly, like a man."
An integral part of the mural are also the dates September 21, 1991 (the date of the murders of the prisoners of war) and September 21, 2021. The Ultimax machine gun with which the murders were committed is also painted next to the mural, on the pillar.
Given the fact that the mural is located on a public surface under the jurisdiction of Croatian Railways Infrastructure, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, based on the Law on the Right to Access to Information, asked them two questions: when the mural will be removed, and what actions they have taken to ensure that the said mural is removed, except for sending a request to remove the mural to the association of the Special Police Unit 'GROM'.
In response to the inquiry, we received a decision based on which our request for access to information is rejected with the explanation that it is not information as regulated by the Law on the Right to Access to Information.
On this occasion, we remind you that it is not possible to build a future of peace and solidarity if past mistakes are not acknowledged and accepted. We instruct the authorities to remove the mural of Mihajlo Hrastov because it is a shame for society and an insult to the families of the killed.

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