In June of 1980, during his third year of study in theology and law at
the University of Zagreb, Mr. Dobroslav Paraga initiated a petition for
amnesty for all political prisoners in what was then Yugoslavia. Arrested on
November 21st of the same year, he was tortured for sending the petition to
the C.S.C.E. in Madrid, Spain. His fate, however, was better than that
of Ernest Brajder, who died on November 27, 1980 under mysterious circumstances in the investigative jail in Zagreb.
After months of interrogation, Mr. Paraga was sentenced to three years
of imprisonment by the court of Zagreb under the official charges of discrediting
Yugoslavia and so-called enemy activity. In June of 1981, the country's Supreme Court elevated the sentence to five years; however, having been adopted
by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, Mr. Paraga was released
from prison in 1984. Still, during his four years in prison, he was held
in solitary confinement, and, after staging several hunger strikes, was
often mistreated, including frequent forced feedings. While in prison,
he continued to initiate appeals to authorities, describing wretched prison
conditions and demanding respect for the human and religious rights of
prisoners. Two years after his release, he filed a complaint against the
authorities of Yugoslavia for torture and unlawful imprisonment, supporting
his claim with the article "Chronicle of My Torture and Suffering
in the Prisons of Yugoslavia from November 21, 1980 to November 1984"
in the Slovenian magazine Nova Revija and his interwiev in Slovenian weekly
Mladina. In response, he endured for a second time political processes
against him, under Art.197, Spreading False News, of the Criminal Code of
Croatia. During the trial on the Zagreb Court, members of the world's most highly regarded
humanitarian organizations like AI, HW, IHF, IGFM where present, as well as the
world's press agencies AP, DPA, AFP, Reuters, APA, RFI, and just about the entire diplomatic
core from the western countries. Placed on a suspended sentence for three
years, the government suffered a great defeat, and because of Mr.Paraga's legal actions, the government had to close down the prison at
Again in April of 1988, during a time of banishment from Croatia to Slovenia,
the Yugoslav government started a third political process against Mr. Paraga extending the suspended sentence to four years with a ban on
any form of public expression and sentencing him to six months imprisonment.
Upon his release from prison, the government rejected his application for
a passport to travel to Germany for an audience with the President of the
Federal Republic of Germany, but with the aid of Mr.Richard von Weiszacker, who
began a hunger strike until the passport was issued, he was eventually
able to go.
With passport in hand, Mr.Paraga first traveled to Toronto, Canada,
in May of 1989, leading a massive demonstration for the release of Janez
Jansa, a Slovenian publicist and later the Minister of Defence of the independent
Slovenia. In July of 1989, he was received by the President of Federal Republic
Richard von Weiszacker, in Bonn. After his testimony in the US Congress, the Senate of the
United States passed its
no.169. on August 4, 1989, submited by Mr. Riegle together with Mr.
Simon, Mr. Dixon, Mr. Helms, Mr. Levin, Mr. Kennedy, and Mr. Chafee supporting
the efforts of Dobroslav Paraga to bring about increased respect for human
rights in Yugoslavia.
Early the next year, after being voted in as President
of the Croatian Party of Rights ( HSP ), he was received by the President
of Republic of Austria, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, and by Vice Chancellor Joseph Riegler, then
in April of 1990, he addressed American Congressmen and Senators concerning
human rights abuses in Yugoslavia. Several months later, in July 1990 he initiated a
resolution of the Prague Parliament and the people Eastern Europe and the
Soviet Union for a peaceful dissolution of Yugoslavia and the U.S.S.R.
This work led to an audience with Czech President Vaclav Havel in Prague
in October, 1990.
On the initiative of Mr.Paraga, the leadership of the governing Republican
Party of the United States accepted the Declaration of independence of
Croatia in February of 1991 in Washington D.C. Four months later, the independence of Croatia
was officialy declared ( known as the June Declaration ), based on the
signatures of over one million citizens and in July of 1991, together with
the Vice President of the Croatian Party of Rights, he met with the Albanian
President, Ramiz Alia, the president of the Democratic Party, Salih
Berisha and Bulgarian rulling coalition to initiate the idea of the Anti-Greater-Serbian Coalition
Mr. Paraga was arrested under false accusations again by Croatian president
Franjo Tudjman in November of
1991 for preparing the overthrow of the government of Croatia. Having begun
a hunger strike he was released after a month 's time, with all charges
dropped. Two months later, charges were once again brought against him
for expressing his criticism against the dictator Tudjman's government during an interview.
This did not stop him from meeting with Hans Stercken, President of Foreign
Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, in March of 1992.
November 1993 was the conclusion of the sixth political process against
Mr.Paraga, the result of which saw him cleared of all charges of over-
throwing the government. Present at the proceedings was Mr.Joseph Morris
a lawyer from the United States and Head of the U.S.Department of Foreign
Affairs for B 'nai B 'rith.
elections for the Croatian President 1992 years the main opponent of
authoritarian President Tudjman.
The elections were neither fair nor just, and there is serious evidence that the
counterfeit of the ruling HDZ party in favor of Tudjman.
Mr. Paraga was elected to the Croatian parliament , but the ruling HDZ party of
President Tudjman with repressive measures, arrests and trials of 1993 Mr.
Paraga removed as party president and installed its agent provocateur Anto
Mr. Paraga was two years under the full prohibition of political and public
engagement with his entire party membership and hundreds of thousands of his
Mr. Paraga in 1995 was forced to register a new party under the name of HSP
with which for almost 20 years and not at all in public and political work
because it is under total administrative and political censorship.
Mr. Paraga's more than 30
associates in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were killed in political assassinations and bombings, but for these murders to date
no one has been punished or condemned.
Mr. Paraga continues his endeavors as human rights activist, working with
In February and March 1998, Mr. Paraga was a guest by Armed Services Committee,
Foreign Relations Committee, National Security Committee and Human Rights Caucus
by US Congress.
is the author of several books
and several thousand published articles in many
newspapers and magazines.
Paraga has a
degree in law, is married with Nevenka
and is father of
two daughters and
PHOTO: PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY RICHARD VON WEIZSACKER
AND DOBROSLAV PARAGA
PHOTO: US SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY AND DOBROSLAV PARAGA
PHOTO: US SENATOR CARL LEVIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ARMED
SERVICES AND DOBROSLAV PARAGA
PHOTO: LYNNE CHENEY, SECOND LADY
OF UNITED STATES, JEANE KIRKPATRICK, US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN, DAVID KEENE,
CHAIRMAN OF AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION AND DOBROSLAV PARAGA
Šenoina 13, 10 000 Zagreb,Croatia
(385) 1 4839 938
(385) 1 4839 939