The Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (HHO) was contacted by the family of Josipa Žilić from Lisičić near Zadar, who is currently undergoing proceedings before the Zadar County Court under the charge of arson on August 18 or 19, 2017, in the village of Brgud near Benkovac.
The public is already familiar with the fact that Josipa is suspected and detained under the charge of starting a fire in the village of Brgud, inhabited with a majority Serbian population. According to media reports, she allegedly started the fire in Brgud because from that location Greater Serbian paramilitary forces rocketed her village of Lisičić.
From data collected so far, it is evident that the claim of arson in Brgud is questionable to say the least. There is reason to believe that in extorting her confession the police allegedly used force to have Josipa confirm their charges. We received this information from Josipa’s family members. Such procedures would constitute a violation of fundamental human rights.
Josipa Žilić has already undergone two investigations in Zadar under court order, and there is reasonable doubt regarding the abuse of psychiatry against the integrity of Josipa Žilić by Psychiatrist Prim. Mag. Vera Klarić, MD, which also constitutes a most serious violation of human rights.
For these reasons I have appointed a three-member Committee in accordance with the Statute of the CHC consisting of: Karolina Vidović Krišto, journalist and member of the Executive Committee of the CHC (Committee President); Evelin Tonković, Zagreb attorney, and MD Prof. Mišo Virag, PhD Sc., members of the CHC who are in charge of contacting the competent institutions as soon as possible: the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior (Police Directorate), the State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia, and the Zadar County Court. The Committee’s role is to gather all relevant data on proceedings against Josip Žilić, primarily regarding possible aggression against her, strictly abiding by Article 231 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
The CHC will, in accordance with its current practice, address the competent institutions to enable the Committee to speak with Josipa Žilić, who is currently detained in the Zagreb Hospital Prison in Svetošimunska Street, as well as provide access to her file (even though the CHC is not a party in the dispute), while strictly abiding by legal regulations.
We ask the media not to contact us for further information, as we will present the details of the Committee’s findings at a press conference.
President of the CHC
Ivan Zvonimir Čičak