Failure to investigate alleged ill-treatment by police officials in Croatia: the Durdevic case

Croatian police forces. Photo: Wikipedia

Croatian police forces. Photo: Wikipedia

In June 2009, Danijel Đurđević—alongside his mother Katica Đurđević—were brutally beaten. They alleged that the attack had been carried out by Croatian police, claiming that they were seized by the throat, kicked in the abdomen and punched in the chest.

Despite medical evidence showing contusions to the head, chest and pelvis, Croatian authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into police misconduct.

Judgment by the European Court of Human Rights

In its judgment, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the state had failed in its duty to carry out an investigation into allegations of ill-treatment by state officials. The state attorney general lacked both transparency and independence.

The case has still never been properly investigated.

 Country situation

The Đurđevićs are by no means alone. Currently three other judgments concerning alleged ill-treatment by Croatian police remain to be fully implemented. In recent years, footage also emerged showing police officials beating migrants attempting to cross the border between Bosnia and Croatia.

Further reforms are required to ensure effective investigations of police ill-treatment in Croatia - especially of minorities.

Useful links to the Durdevics v Croatia case (Application No 52442/09):