[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 375 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
H. RES. 375

  Supporting the efforts of Dobroslav Paraga to bring about increased 
          respect for democratic and human rights in Croatia.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 2, 1998

Mr. Towns submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
                  Committee on International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
  Supporting the efforts of Dobroslav Paraga to bring about increased 
          respect for democratic and human rights in Croatia.

Whereas Dobroslav Paraga, who has twice been adopted as a prisoner of conscience 
        by Amnesty International, has endured hardship for openly calling on the 
        Government of Croatia to honor its commitments under the Helsinki 
        Accords to respect the fundamental human rights of all the citizens of 
        Croatia;
Whereas Dobroslav Paraga had been tried on three occasions by the courts of the 
        former Government of Yugoslavia, the initial charge being that, in 1980, 
        he, along with a Jewish Croatian student, Ernest Brajder, authored a 
        petition opposing torture in Yugoslavia and calling for the release of 
        political prisoners;
Whereas, as a result, both men were arrested and, three days later, Ernest 
        Brajder died under what the Department of State calls ``mysterious 
        circumstances'';
Whereas, in 1986, Mr. Paraga sued the Government of Yugoslavia for injuries, 
        both physical and psychological, inflicted on him by prison authorities 
        during his imprisonment;
Whereas the regime and court in Zagreb denied him a fair and just trial, an 
        account of which was set forth in the Department of State's annual 
        Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1987;
Whereas the Government of Yugoslavia forbade Mr. Paraga in 1987 to speak out 
        publicly in any way about his experiences as a political prisoner and 
        the Government of Croatia has continued this prohibition against the 
        fundamental political and human rights of Mr. Paraga;
Whereas the Government of Croatia persecuted Mr. Paraga for criticizing his 
        country in the United States in 1993 and he was subsequently stripped of 
        his post as Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights of the 
        Croatian Parliament;
Whereas in August 1997 the Government of Croatia brought charges against Mr. 
        Paraga within days of his meeting with investigators from the Hague War 
        Crimes Tribunal to which he turned over documentation involving 
        allegations against several high officials of the Government of Croatia;
Whereas, in violation of this order of silence, Dobroslav Paraga has come to the 
        West to speak out about human rights abuses in Croatia;
Whereas, upon his return to Croatia, Dobroslav Paraga risks imprisonment again 
        because of his open criticism of the Government of Croatia's human 
        rights abuses; and
Whereas in 1998 Dobroslav Paraga called on the Government of Croatia to take the 
        following actions: (1) to establish independent television and radio 
        stations in Croatia; (2) to allow full freedom of the media in Croatia; 
        (3) to allow free and fair elections to take place in Croatia; (4) to 
        establish a judiciary and lower court system that is independent from 
        the ruling party or any other party in Croatia; (5) to re-establish the 
        independence of the Croatian Party of Rights (CPR) that was illegally 
        disbanded in 1993, including the reinstatement to the Croatian 
        Parliament of the 5 seats of the Croatian Party of Rights; and (6) to 
        end the terror and abuse of justice perpetrated by the Government of 
        Croatia against Dobroslav Paraga and the Croatian Party of Rights: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that 
the Government of Croatia--
            (1) in recognition of the provisions of the Universal 
        Declaration of Human Rights, should guarantee its citizens 
        fundamental human rights and freedoms;
            (2)(A) should establish independent television and radio 
        stations in Croatia;
            (B) should allow full freedom of the media in Croatia;
            (C) should allow free and fair elections to take place in 
        Croatia;
            (D) should establish a judiciary and lower court system 
        that is independent from the ruling party or any other party in 
        Croatia;
            (E) should re-establish the independence of the Croatian 
        Party of Rights (CPR) that was illegally disbanded in 1993, 
        including the reinstatement to the Croatian Parliament of the 5 
        seats of the Croatian Party of Rights; and
            (F) should end the terror and abuse of justice perpetrated 
        by the Government of Croatia against Dobroslav Paraga and the 
        Croatian Party of Rights;
            (3) should dismiss the charges currently pending against 
        human rights activist Dobroslav Paraga and end all forms of 
        harassment against him and his family; and
            (4) should conduct an investigation into the death of 
        Ernest Brajder, who, according to the Department of State, died 
        under ``mysterious circumstances'', and should make its 
        findings public.
                                 <all>