Croatia: Thousands march against EC Convention combating domestic violence

Thousands of people took to the streets of Zagreb, Saturday, to demonstrate against the ratification of the Council of Europe's Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention.

The protesters with national flags and banners staged a rally in front of the headquarters of the Croatian Democratic Union, calling on the government not to ratify the convention.

One of the main opponents of the convention, Vice John Batarelo said that the document would have "bad consequences for children." "People came today to save their children and we are arguing for the Christian Democratic and conservative Government to not sign the Istanbul convention," he added.

The Istanbul Convention, which is aimed at victim protection and domestic violence prevention, has been ratified by 28 countries and signed by 45 countries.

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SOT, Vice John Batarelo, Istanbul Convention opponent (Croatian): "Thanks God, that many people arrived today. It means that they know how to read and what is written in the Istanbul convention, but also that they know it is an introduction into the gender ideology. Whatever government says, there is no place for interpreting things. This will enter into the Croatian Constitution and our laws. It will have bad consequences for our children. People came today to save their children and we are arguing for the Christian Democratic and conservative Government to not sign the Istanbul convention. And this is the main message from here today, not to sign the Istanbul convention."

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