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Former Yugoslavian inmates fear prison island tourism

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Former Yugoslavian inmates fear prison island tourism

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A plan by the Croatian government to sell off an island used as a prison by Tito’s Yugoslavian Communist regime has sparked protests from former inmates, who want it turned into a memorial site.

The ex-prisoners fear the island of Goli Otok in the Adriatic sea could be converted into a tourist resort, They would prefer that the things that happened there were not forgotten.

“Here was the welcoming committee,” said former inmate Darko Bavoljak. “All the prisoners on Goli Otok at the time had to line up along both sides of the walkway and greet the new arrivals by spitting at them and beating them.”

The Goli Otok Association, which is made up of former inmates, says it could help turn the island into an attraction for tourists based on history and promotion of human rights.

In this way they say that there could still be hotels and hostels, but they would be aimed at a specific type of tourism based not just on relaxation but also on learning.