Impunity for mass graves, indifference to the families of the disappeared

Impunity for mass graves, indifference to the families of the disappeared

masovna_grobnicaOn the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared

The International Day of the Disappeared is marked on 30 August, and is aimed at raising awareness about the destiny of forcibly disappeared persons.  The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) draws attention to the fact that, according to the findings in 2015 of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (Committee), Serbia has failed to investigate and punish those responsible for the mass graves holding bodies of Kosovo Albanians in Serbia, including high-ranking persons involved, and has failed to provide reparations to the families of the victims.

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Criminal charges against police officers for crimes against 53 Albanian civilians in Poklek

Criminal charges against police officers for crimes against 53 Albanian civilians in Poklek

krivična_prijavaOn 17 August 2015, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) filed criminal charges against two unidentified members of the 86th Detachment of the Special Police Unit (SPU) of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia (MoI), on reasonable suspicion that they killed 53 ethnic Albanian civilians, including 24 women and 23 children, on 17 April 1999 in the village of Poklek (Municipality of Glogovac). Criminal charges were also filed against Dragan Obradovic, former commander of the 86th Detachment of the SPU, and against the commander of the company which the perpetrators belonged to, on the charges of not preventing the crime and not punishing the perpetrators.   

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Compensation to Kosovo Albanians for human rights violations

Compensation to Kosovo Albanians for human rights violations

Fond_Logo_200_200The First Basic Court in Belgrade passed two judgments ordering the Republic of Serbia to pay compensation to six Kosovo Albanians from Glogovac, in amounts ranging from 125,000 to 370,000 dinars, because of Serbia’s responsibility for torture and unlawful detention committed by members of the Ministry of the Interior (MoI). Although the judgments established the right to compensation for violations of basic human rights, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) emphasizes that the amounts awarded are unjustifiably low and the rationale of the judgments indicates the intention of reducing the state’s responsibility for the widespread torture against Kosovo Albanians in 1999. The HLC lawyers have filed appeals for the judgments to the Court of Appeal in Belgrade.

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On the occasion of 20 years since “Storm”: Victims have to become the responsibility of the society and institutions of Serbia and Croatia

On the occasion of 20 years since “Storm”:  Victims have to become the responsibility of the society and institutions of Serbia and Croatia

Fond_Logo_200_200The 20th anniversary of the Croatian military-police Operation “Storm” will be marked on Tuesday, 4 August 2015. During the operation, the Croatian military forces committed serious and widespread crimes against the Serbs living in the area of the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina. Even after 20 years since the crimes were committed, justice for the victims of these crimes has not been achieved, and both Croatian and Serbian institutions are responsible. Both countries have a legal and moral obligation in the future to change the attitude towards the legacy of crimes committed during “Storm”, and to demonstrate that the caring for the victims and prosecution of the persons responsible for the crimes is the ground for future reconciliation.

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Only acceptance of facts about judicially proven crimes can make statements about reconciliation trustworthy

Only acceptance of facts about judicially proven crimes can make statements about reconciliation trustworthy

Logo_FHP At a session held on 8 July, 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) did not pass a resolution proposed by the United Kingdom marking the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, as the Russian Federation vetoed it. The vote was preceded by a month of intense negotiations between permanent members of the UNSC who tried to reach a compromise on the text of the resolution. Throughout this period, Serbia’s top officials, in their public statements and through diplomatic activities aimed at preventing the adoption of the proposed resolution, damaged the process of reconciliation in the region of the former Yugoslavia and discredited earlier statements given by Serbian officials stressing Serbia’s commitment to reconciliation and regret for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide.

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Minister of Defence Declared Documents on Activities of the 37th Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav Army in Kosovo Top Secret

Minister of Defence Declared Documents on Activities of the 37th Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav Army in Kosovo Top Secret

post_gasicOn June 12th, 2015, the Humanitarian Law Center filed a misdemeanour charge against the Minister of Defence, Bratislav Gašić, because of the unlawful labeling of the archive of the 37th Yugoslav Army Motorized Brigade (37th VJ MtBr) with the highest level of secrecy of data. The HLC maintains that the Minister of Defence has violated the Data Secrecy Law and that his actions are intended to make it impossible to clarify all of the circumstances relating to the killings of the Kosovo Albanians whose bodies were found in the Rudnica mass grave.

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