The initiative for assessing the constitutionality of the Law on the Rights of Civilian Invalids of War dismissed: The Constitutional Court does not recognize discrimination against civilian victims of war

The initiative for assessing the constitutionality of the Law on the Rights of Civilian Invalids of War dismissed: The Constitutional Court does not recognize discrimination against civilian victims of war

Ustavni sudThe Serbian Constitutional Court has adopted a conclusion dismissing the initiative for assessing the constitutionality of the Law on the Rights of Civilian Invalids of War that the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) filed in May 2016. The HLC states that the formalistic argument rendered by the Constitutional Court was not a thorough constitutional assessment of this disputed Law, but a decision reduced to an insufficiently reasoned reproduction of the provisions of the Law, which placed the highest judicial institution in the country on the same side as the other government bodies that maintain this discriminatory legislation, which disenfranchises most of the civilian victims of war in Serbia.

Share

On the occasion of the presentation of the Report on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Manipulating data on the effectiveness of the prosecution of war crimes in Serbia

On the occasion of the presentation of the Report on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:  Manipulating data on the effectiveness of the prosecution of war crimes in Serbia

Specijalni sudIn March 7th and 8th, 2017, the Serbian delegation presented the Third Periodic Report on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights before the UN Committee for Human Rights in Geneva. The report contains data on the prosecution of war crimes in Serbia. During the discussion with the Committee experts, the delegation offered a distinctly tendentious presentation of the information about the work of state authorities responsible for the prosecution of war crimes, or presented completely false information, all with the aim of creating an illusory image of high efficiency. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) believes that such actions on the part of the delegation illustrate the relationship that the Republic of Serbia has towards its international obligations in the field of human rights, including those obligations derived from the accession negotiations with the European Union. Serbia tends to meet only the minimum formal requirements of international bodies, and creates an illusion of efficiency without the ambition to substantially fulfill its obligations.


Share

Crime in Štrpci – Families Without Justice for 24 Years

Crime in Štrpci – Families Without Justice for 24 Years

strpci-bez-mezara-logoOn February 27th, 2017, it will be 24 years since the crime in Štrpci (BiH), in which members of the Republic of Srpska Army (VRS) kidnapped and killed 20 passengers on a train travelling from Belgrade to Bar, among whom were 18 Bosniaks, one Croat and one foreign citizen of African or Arab origin, whose identity has not been established. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), Women in Black, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) and the Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms would like to remind the public of the responsibility which lies on the institutions of the Republic of Serbia for this crime, as well as of the fact that the victims’ families are still waiting for  justice from the courts in Serbia and for the recognition of their status as family members of civilian victims of war.

The victims of this crime were: Esad Kapetanović, Ilijaz Ličin, Fehim Bakija, Šećo Softić, Rifat Husović, Halil Zupčević, Senad Đečević, Jusuf Rastoder, Ismet Babačić, Toma Buzov, Adem Alomerović, Muhedin Hanić, Safet Preljević, Džafer Topuzović, Rasim Ćorić, Fikret Memović, Fevzija Zeković, Nijazim Kajević, Zvjezdan Zuličić and one unidentified person.

Share

24 Years since Crime in Kukurovići – No Punishment for Perpetrators and No Justice for Victims

24 Years since Crime in Kukurovići – No Punishment for Perpetrators and No Justice for Victims

Kaltak kucaOn February 18th, 2017, it was 24 years since members of the then Yugoslav Army (VJ) attacked and destroyed by shelling the village of Kukurovići in the municipality of Priboj (Serbia), in which the majority of the population were Bosniaks, and killed three villagers. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and the Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms (Sandžak Committee) use this opportunity to remind the public that even after 24 years, the state of Serbia does not accept responsibility for the crime and refuses to punish the perpetrators and compensate the victims’ families and those residents of Kukurovići whose property was destroyed.

Share

Ministry Stronger than Any Court or Law: Families of Victims from Sjeverin Still Deprived of their Legal Rights

Ministry Stronger than Any Court or Law: Families of Victims from Sjeverin Still Deprived of their Legal Rights

Ministarstvo_jace_od_suda_i_zakona

On receiving the order of the Administrative Court to decide once more on the request filed by Rasim Pecikoza, the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs again refused to grant him, as a family member of a civilian victim of war, the right to a monthly cash benefit, and explained this decision by stating that this right cannot be granted to a victim who died outside the territory of Serbia. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents Rasim Pecikoza, holds that the Ministry has acted in violation of the law and contrary to the positions taken by the Administrative and Constitutional Courts, thus placing itself above judicial institutions, and has confirmed its earlier intention to deprive the greatest number of civilian victims of war in Serbia of their legally guaranteed rights. The HLC will again seek, in this case and in other similar cases, protection before the Administrative Court on behalf of the plaintiffs.


Share

Criminal Complaint for Crime at Golo Brdo in 1993

Criminal Complaint for Crime at Golo Brdo in 1993

Logo FHPOn January 31st, 2017, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) filed a criminal complaint with the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor for a crime against prisoners of war committed against members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in July 1993, at Golo Brdo on Mount Igman in Bosnia.

The complaint was filed against the then Commander of the Republic of Srpska Army (VRS) Igman Brigade Quick Reaction Unit, Miroslav Škorić, and five identified and a number of unidentified members of the VRS.

After taking control of Golo Brdo on July 17th, 1993, members of the VRS Igman Brigade Quick Reaction Unit, under the command of Miroslav Škorić, detained four members of the Army of BiH in two bunkers. They immediately killed Robert Kahrimanović, and took the remaining three prisoners to the base of Mount Igman, not far from Blažuj, where they were met by the former Commander of the Quick Reaction Unit, Branislav Gavrilović. On Gavrilović’s orders, two of the prisoners, Živko Krajišnik and Rusmir Hamalukić, were killed, whilst the fourth prisoner, Perica Koblar, was taken to the Military Police HQ in Blažuj and handed over to members of the VRS. Koblar spent seven days in prison in Blažuj, where he endured torture on a daily basis. After seven days in prison, Koblar was released.

Perica Koblar testified about this event for two days before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, in the Vojislav Šešelj case (Koblar testified in this case on June 10th and 11th, 2008). No one has been prosecuted in Serbia for this crime to date.

Share

Bar Association of Belgrade Abuses Public Powers

Bar Association of Belgrade Abuses Public Powers

AKB-zloupotrebljava_javna_ovlascenjaOn January 19th, 2017, the Steering Committee of the Bar Association of Belgrade (BAB) denied the request filed by the former War Crimes Prosecutor, Mr. Vladimir Vukčević, for registration in the Directory of Attorneys-at-Law, assessing that he is unworthy of membership. The Steering Committee of the Bar Association of Belgrade stated that, as the War Crimes Prosecutor, he did not engage in his duty professionally, and also criticized him for allegedly not prosecuting sufficiently the cases in which Serbs were victims and for allegedly allowing the Founder of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), Ms. Nataša Kandić, to take „absolute power in the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor“. The HLC points out that this Decision rendered by the Steering Committee of the BAB in its capacity of public authority is illegal and that such an interpretation of „worthiness“ represents explicit pressure on the current and future representatives of this independent profession.

Share

Attack on Youth Initiative for Human Rights activists condemned

Attack on Youth Initiative for Human Rights activists condemned

Osuda_napada_na_aktivisteAt a public meeting of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), held in Beška near Inđija on 17 January 2017, members of the above-mentioned party physically attacked activists of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Serbia (YIHR), injuring several of them on that occasion. The attack took place when the YIHR activists unfurled a banner which read, “War criminals should become silent so that the victims can be spoken about!”, thereby stopping the speech of the Hague convict Veselin Sljivancanin, who was being hosted on this tribune of Serbia’s ruling party. A group of SNS supporters, including representatives of the local municipal government in Inđija, attacked the YIHR activists, tore down the banner and threw them out of the premises violently. Several activists fell down and were kicked on this occasion. Two activists were severely injured, while the others suffered head injuries. Their cars also suffered material damage. These activists were mostly students of both sexes.

Share

War Criminal In Presidency of Republic of Serbia

War Criminal In Presidency of Republic of Serbia

krajisnikThe Office of Tomislav Nikolić confirmed on January 11th, 2017, that he is going to meet the wartime Speaker of the Republic of Srpska Parliament, the convicted war criminal Momčilo Krajišnik, in the building of the General Secretariat of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) maintains that this move made by the President represents an unacceptable mockery of the victims, and is in direct contradiction with the proclaimed intention of Serbia to work on  reconciliation in the region.


Share

Petition against Election of Danica Marinković for Position of Member of Board of Anti-Corruption Agency

Petition against Election of Danica Marinković for Position of Member of Board of Anti-Corruption Agency

skupstina_beogradThe Administration Committee of the National Assembly of Serbia has proposed Danica Marinković, a former investigative judge of the Priština District Court at the time of the war in Kosovo, as a candidate for the position of  Member of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Agency. The National Assembly will be deciding on the election of the candidate in an urgent procedure. Human rights organizations underline that there is ample evidence available to the public, already presented in books, newspaper articles, and reports (for instance, those issued by the Humanitarian Law Center and Human Rights Watch), as also before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which points to the fact that during the time she served as a judge, she expressed political bias and unprofessional behaviour; for which reason, Danica Marinković is not fit to work in an independent state body.


Share