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.

  • Ivan

    I find the article misleading and poorly written.

    Its not about freedom of information and a blogger playing a hero here for cracking the government’s “biggest secret”.

    Its about breaking the law and discriminating a group of people – and most of all its about protection of their privacy. Its about breaking into ministry of justice servers and stealing privileged information. And publishing a list of 300,000 people at all?

    Its not a secret at all – its just something that should not be published. Which country in the history of the world (aside from Croatia now) published an entire list of participants in a war? What about retaliation? Discrimination? Its like publishing a list of all gays in a country or people that have AIDS even all criminals. Or better yet why stop there – why not just publish the list of all people that bought a Peugeot car in the last 10 years? So we can throw stones on them.

    If there are controversies about certain people from the list enjoying benefits unjustly – its an internal ministry of justice (or police) matter – but what possible use would there be of publishing a list of 300,000 people online? Should be debate on merits of some people in newspapers now?

    If he did it – he should go to jail. Who knows how many lives he might have put in danger – or at least in discomfort with this stunt.

  • http://www.e-demokracija.si/2010/04/12/hrvaska-zaradi-seznama-borcev-v-vojni-za-osamosvojitev-hrvaske-aretirali-marka-rakarja/ Hrvaška: Zaradi seznama borcev v vojni za osamosvojitev Hrvaške aretirali Marka Rakarja | E-demokracija.si

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  • No Name

    The article states:
    “The website has been unavailable to Croats connecting through Croatian ISPs.”

    This is not true. Or isn’t true anymore?

    I just visited http://www.registarbranitelja.com/ from Croatia.

    Anyway, this is the forst time I hear thet the website was censored. And I saw no proof of that claim.

  • http://www.pumapascherfr.com/ Pumapascherfr
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