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15 July 2010

(Zagreb, Croatia) At least 140 people have been arrested in peaceful protests Zagreb, Croatia, this morning as works began on a heavily unpopular entrance ramp to a private underground car park, which would destroy part of the city’s Varsavska Street pedestrian zone.

Around 200 police including riot police sealed off the street while workers erected a fence around the construction site and cut down 5 trees. Contractors have been attempting to start work on the project since the beginning of the year but have until now been prevented by protests, including the destruction of a construction fence in May and a subsequent 33 day occupation of the pedestrian zone.

“It’s a tragic day for justice in Croatia when riot police arrest over 100 residents for entering a public street instead of arresting the decision-makers and investor who engaged in corruption and nepotism in order to force this project through against massive public opposition”, commented Jagoda Munic of Green Action. “In mid-June the State Attorney (DORH) issued a statement that legal irregularities have been found in the project, but that investigations were still going on. Construction must stop immediately while these corruption investigations are completed”.

Contacts:

Jagoda Munic, Green Action/Friends of the Earth Croatia

jagoda@zelena-akcija.hr

+385 (0)98 1795 690

Zeljka Leljak-Gracin, Lawyer, Green Action/Friends of the Earth Croatia

zeljka@zelena-akcija.hr

+385 (0)95 8065 426

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