Victims Mocked by Government Reception for Lazarević

Victims Mocked by Government Reception for Lazarević

Docek_LazarevicaVladimir Lazarević, the former Commander of the Yugoslav Army (VJ) Priština Corps, returned to Serbia on December 3rd, 2015, after having served his prison sentence imposed for his responsibility in the commission of crimes against humanity. His return was organized at the expense of the Republic of Serbia; he was accompanied by two Ministers in the Government of Serbia, and welcomed at the airport by other high government officials. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) emphasizes that the institutions of the Republic of Serbia have mocked the Albanian victims of the crimes committed by the army and police in Kosovo, by honouring a person convicted for the most serious crimes according to national and international law, and have thus demonstrated a clear dedication to the anti-civilization values promoted by the Slobodan Milošević regime.

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To Withdraw Discriminatory Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War

To Withdraw Discriminatory Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War

vlada_logoWith regard to the announced passing of the Bill on the Rights of War Veterans, Disabled War Veterans, Civilian Invalids of War and their Family Members (Bill), human rights organizations use this opportunity to draw the attention of the public and international community once more to the lack of harmonization of the provisions in this Bill with the mandatory provisions for the protection of human rights, and they call upon the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Veterans and Social Policy (Ministry) to withdraw the Bill from the adoption procedure, and the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the National Assembly to draft and pass a new Bill based on the Model Law on the Rights of Civilian Victims of Human Rights Violations Committed during and in Connection with Armed Conflicts in the Period 1991-2001, which contains normative solutions for the realization of the rights of victims in accordance with international agreements on the protection of human rights and other international standards in the provision of reparation to victims.

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State Obliged to Pay Compensatory Damages for Murder of Two Croats from Vojvodina

State Obliged to Pay Compensatory Damages for Murder of Two Croats from Vojvodina

KukujevciThe First Basic Court in Belgrade delivered a first instance judgment upholding the lawsuit filed by Stjepan Oskomić from Kukujevci in its entirety, and ordering the Republic of Serbia to pay the amount of 1,000,000 RSD in compensatory damages for the ethnically motivated murder of his parents Agica and Nikola Oskomić, which was committed in July 1993 in Kukujevci (the Municipality of Šid). The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents Stjepan Oskomić in this case, states that, after more than nine years of proceedings, justice has finally been served by the judgment delivered in this case, and the responsibility of the state for serious ethnically motivated violations of human rights has been established correctly and in line with domestic and international law.

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No Justice for Wartime Victims of Sexual Violence

No Justice for Wartime Victims of Sexual Violence

Specijalni sudThe Higher Court in Belgrade War Crimes Department rendered a first instance judgment in the repeated trial of the Bijeljina II Case on November 24th, 2015, acquitting Miodrag Živković once again of the charges related to the commission of a war crime against a civilian population. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) emphasizes that this judgment represents part of the negative score of the national judiciary in the prosecution of cases of wartime sexual violence, and also a continuation of the practice of departing from the international standards set in such cases.

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Serbia violates international law by refusing to grant the status of civilian war victims to the victims of Sjeverin

Serbia violates international law by refusing to grant the status of civilian war victims to the victims of Sjeverin

sjeverinRegarding the 23rd anniversary since the crime in Sjeverin

On Thursday, 22nd of October, the opening of the memorial to the victims in Sjeverin will mark the 23rd anniversary of the abduction and murders of 16 Serbian citizens of Bosnian nationality. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and the Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms (the Sandžak Committee) caution that, from the point of view of international law, it is unacceptable for the Republic of Serbia not to approve the status of civilian war victims to the victims of Sjeverin. At the same time, the HLC and the Sandžak Committee state that the engagement of the local community and the municipality of Priboj in the commemoration of this crime and their help in constructing the monument are a rare example of responsible attitude on part of the institutions in the former Yugoslavia towards the victims, who come from an ethnic minority community.

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Compensation of Damages for Former Detainees of Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje Camps

Compensation of Damages for Former Detainees of Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje Camps

naknadaThe First Basic Court in Belgrade rendered a judgment on September 19th, 2015, upon the completion of the repeated proceedings, upholding in part the claims made by Ahmet Kamenica and Selim Nuhanović, two Bosniaks who were detained in Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje camps in Serbia during 1995 and 1996, and obliged the Republic of Serbia to pay the amount of 800,000 RSD in damages for the psychological pain suffered by them. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents Kamenica and Nuhanović in these proceedings, emphasizes that this judgment states precise facts about the torture the prisoners in these camps endured, and that the responsibility of the state for the acts undertaken by the members of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP), who managed and protected these camps, was properly established.

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Trial for the Crime in Trnje – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Trial for the Crime in Trnje – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

post_trzOnly two trial days have been held since the filing of the indictment for the war crime in the case of Trnje two years ago, while the Ministry of Defence has been refusing since the beginning of the trial to act on the final decision rendered by the Commissioner for  Information of Public Importance (Commissioner) and inform the public about the present status of the two defendants in the Serbian Army (VS). The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) emphasizes  that the delays in the beginning of the trial and the unlawful acts of the respective Ministry degrade the trials for the crimes committed during the nineteen-nineties and discourage victims who have been waiting for justice for 16 years now.

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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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