BELGRADE – The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday vehemently protested against a series of incidents, threats and provocations by members of the pro-Ustasha Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights and its followers during Wednesday’s 75th anniversary commemorations of a WWII anti-fascist uprising in Srb, Croatia.

The Croatian authorities’ failure to act and the absence of public condemnation by Croatian officials following the incidents have contributed significantly to a spread of ethnic hatred and incidents targeting Serbs, the ministry said in a statement.

Serbia expects a prompt reaction by the relevant Croatian authorities in the wake of the ethnically motivated incidents in Srb and across Croatia, the statement notes.

Wednesday’s incidents in Srb are just the latest in a series of cases of hate speech against the members of the Serb national minority and the citizens of Serbia, caused by ethnic intolerance, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic issued a statement condemning a decision by the Supreme Court of Croatia to overturn a conviction of Branimir Glavas – who had been sentenced to eight years in prison for war crimes against ethnic Serb civilians in 1991 – and order a retrial.

The decision “demonstrates a clear policy of Croatia, which is rehabilitating not only the (WWII-era) fascist Ustasha Independent State of Croatia, but also criminals from the last war,” Dacic noted.

“The message of this disgraceful act is that unpunished crimes against Serbs are permitted and normal, and this, in addition to constant hate speech, has opened a hunting season on Serbs.

This policy has also resulted in an increase of incidents and violence against Serbs from Croatia and citizens of Serbia, and a protest note was today sent to Croatia over this,” Dacic said in the statement.