Political blogger arrested after publishing controversial Croatian War list

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It’s emerged that last Tuesday night, a list of the Croatian participants in the Croatian War of Independence was put online as a simple web application. The never before published list is one of the best kept secrets of the current Croatian goverment, so much so that a prominent Croatian political blogger, Marko Rakar, was arrested in connection to the list. Current laws in Croatia make it illegal for anyone to publish the list, which is a topic of huge controversy both in the media and in the public.

The website, registarbranitelja.com, which listed a couple of hundred thousand people which you can search through by name, surname and group, is a searchable simple database.

The list it refers to has been a topic of controversy for quite a long time, since allegations came out that many people on the list did not in reality partipicate in the defense of Croatia during the war that lasted from 1991 to 1995, despite the fact that many of them have gotten benefits and special rights from the Croatian goverment.

Rakar, a prominent Croatian pollitical blogger, after being anonimously accussed of publishing the list in the comments of a couple of news sites, voluntarily went to the police. Rakar had previously published the complete list of Croatian voters, due to the fact that some deceased people kept appearing in it. Rakar was held for 24 hours while the police searched his flat, car and office and took his computer, BlackBerry and a couple of hard drives. Rakar said in a blog post late last night that the police were respectful and that he was correctly treated.

Rakar had previously started the prominent collaborative political blog Pollitika, for which he received the eDemocracy award in 2009. He led the internet campaign of now  president Ivo Josipovic. The president is one of many Croatian politiciants who are requesting that the list be published.

The Croatian goverment is adamant about the list, saying that those who published it should and will go to jail. The domain and hosting for the website were registered with Invisihosting, a company that focuses on the anonymity of its users. The website has been unavailable to Croats connecting through Croatian ISPs.

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