Press Statement On the Occasion of Marking the 23rd Anniversary of the Crime in Štrpci

Press Statement On the Occasion of Marking the 23rd Anniversary of the Crime in Štrpci

Povodom 23. godišnjice zločina u ŠtrpcimaOn Saturday, February 27th, 2016, it will be 23 years since the commission of the crime in Štrpci, when members of the Republic of Srpska Army took 20 passengers, who were civilians and non-Serbs, from the train travelling from Belgrade to Bar at the Štrpci Railway Station, and subsequently killed them. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), Women in Black and the Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms take this opportunity to remind the public that the victims’ families are still waiting for judicial justice in Serbia and the recognition of the status of family members of civilian victims of war.

Share

Judgment in “Cobras” Case Delivered

Judgment in “Cobras” Case Delivered

Logo_FHPThe Higher Court in Niš delivered a judgment on February 17th, 2016 finding the accused Shyqer Maloku, Xhafer Gashi, Demush Gacaferi, Dem Maloku, Argon Isufi, Anton Quni, Alija Rabit and Rustem Berisha, who were tried in absentia, guilty of the criminal offence of terrorism and sentencing each of them to 15 years of imprisonment. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) highlights that a distinctive mark of this case was the presence of some illogicalities and serious legal faults emerging from the erroneous qualification of the criminal act and the decision to prosecute the accused in absentia.

Share

New Text of the Bill on Civilian Victims of War further Degrades their Status

New Text of the Bill on Civilian Victims of War further Degrades their Status

Novi tekst nacrta zakona o civilnim zrtvama rata dodatno pogorsava njihov statusThe state secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, Dragan Popovic, has recently said that the state respects and fulfils the rights of victims of war and that the Bill on the Rights of Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Civilians Invalids of War and their Families, which, as it has been announced, will be submitted to the Government, is aligned with the European acquis. As regards this statement and having reviewed the revised text of the Bill, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and the organizations comprising the Coalition Against Discrimination and the Coalition for Access to Justice call on this Ministry to stop deceiving the international and domestic public and above all more than 20,000 civilian victims of war living in Serbia, and to explain why the state refuses to respect their rights guaranteed by international conventions to which Serbia is a signatory.

Share

HLC Kosovo: Oliver Ivanović has been sentenced to nine years of imprisonment for a war crime against civilian population

HLC Kosovo: Oliver Ivanović has been sentenced to nine years of imprisonment for a war crime against civilian population

fdh_kosovo_logoFollowing a thirteen-month trial in the case the Prosecutor against Oliver Ivanović et aila,[1] the international panel of the Basic Court of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica (presided by Judge Roxana Comsa[2]) announced the judgment on 21 January 2016 finding the accused Oliver Ivanović guilty of the criminal offense of War Crimes Against Civilian Population and sentenced him to imprisonment of nine (9) years. In her brief reasoning that was on this occasion announced to the parties to the proceedings, Judge Comsa said that the Court found that Ivanović was responsible for the crime committed on 14 April 1999 in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica, in Miladin Popović Street (nowadays Ahmet Selaci Street), as well as in Put za Bajr (The Road to Bajr). As a result of the actions of Serbian paramilitary police forces, on that occasion, the following Albanians were killed: Fatmir Mustafa, Skender Paqarada, Avni Abazi and Mehmet Seferi.

Share

“Depth Two” Film at 66th Berlin International Film Festival

“Depth Two” Film at 66th Berlin International Film Festival

66 Film Festival BerlinA low-budget, experimental documentary titled “Depth Two” directed by Ognjen Glavonić will be screen at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, which is scheduled to be held from February 11th until February 21st. Berlinale is one of the largest and most prestigious film festivals and the world première of this film will be held as part of the “Berlinale Forum” section, which mainly presents avant garde, experimental works, essays, political reportage and yet-to-be-discovered cinematic landscapes and expressions.

Share

Draft Strategy for Prosecution of War Crimes Does Not Guarantee More Efficient Prosecution of Perpetrators of War Crimes in Serbia

Draft Strategy for Prosecution of War Crimes Does Not Guarantee More Efficient Prosecution of Perpetrators of War Crimes in Serbia

Nacionalna_StrategijaThe Republic of Serbia Ministry of Justice published the
Draft National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes for the period 2016-2020 (Draft Strategy) in November 2015 , in accordance with the Action Plan for Chapter 23, and then opened a public debate, which was closed on December 31st, 2015. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) holds that, even though the Draft Strategy does recognize some of the key shortcomings in the current work of the institutions responsible for the prosecution of war crimes and foresees some good solutions for overcoming these shortcomings, it still fails to establish the key measures for the achievement of the primary objective, which is the more efficient prosecution of war crimes; and therefore it significantly dilutes its potential.

Share

Election of Politically Suitable Prosecutors Undermines Rule of Law

Election of Politically Suitable Prosecutors Undermines Rule of Law

Nikola-SelakovicWith regard to the statement made by the Minister of Justice, Nikola Selaković, that prosecutors who are politically suitable for the Government of the Republic of Serbia should be elected in the new election process, human rights organizations emphasize that such an application of political criteria without any doubt represents a violation of the constitutionality and legality of the prosecutors’ election process; and demand the dismissal of the Minister of Justice and repetition of the prosecutors’ election procedure.

Share

ICTY Appeals Chamber Renders Judgment in Case of Stanišić and Simatović

ICTY Appeals Chamber Renders Judgment in Case of Stanišić and Simatović

ICTY LogoThe Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rendered a judgment on 15 December 2015 in the case of the former heads of the Serbian State Security Service (SDB), quashing the first instance judgment on account of errors in law, and ordering a retrial. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) maintains that the court’s decision is correct, and points out that in the case of the former Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, Momčilo Perišić, the ICTY made a serious mistake and that, had the Chamber not erred, he would have been held accountable for the assistance that this institution had provided to the Republic of Srpska Army in the commission of systematic crimes against the non-Serb civilian population.

Share

Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War Still Hidden from Public Eye

Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War Still Hidden from Public Eye

Ministarstvo Nemanjina

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Veterans and Social Policy (Ministry) has refused to deliver the amended text of the Bill on the Rights of Veterans, Military Invalids, Civilian Invalids of War and Members of Their Families (Bill) to the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which the HLC demanded on the basis of the Law on the Free Access to Information of Public Importance. The HLC notes that, by doing this, the Ministry has not only violated the right to free access to information of public importance, but has also continued with the practice of hiding the process of passing a new law regulating the rights of civilian victims of war from the public eye and from all interested parties.


Share

Republic of Serbia Has No Answer for Human Rights Violations Committed during 1990’s

Republic of Serbia Has No Answer for Human Rights Violations Committed during 1990’s

hrdOn the occasion of marking International Human Rights Day, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) would like to remind the public that the Republic of Serbia has an obligation to apply the provisions of international human rights law to cases of systematic human rights violations during the 1990’s, and emphasizes that the position of institutions towards these obligations represents a reflection of sincerity of the political authorities in the process of building a democratic society and a culture of human rights.

Share