Dossier: “The cover-up of evidence of crimes during the war in Kosovo: THE CONCEALMENT OF BODIES OPERATION”

Dossier: “The cover-up of evidence of crimes during the war in Kosovo: THE CONCEALMENT OF BODIES OPERATION”

UklanjanjeDokaza-enSince 2001, mass graves containing the bodies of 941 Kosovo Albanians, mainly civilians killed outside combat situations in Kosovo during 1999, have been found on four locations in Serbia. 744 bodies of Kosovo Albanians have been discovered in Batajnica, on the outskirts of Belgrade, at least 61 in Petrovo Selo, and 84 at Lake Perućac. At least 52 bodies have been subsequently found in the mass grave at Rudnica.

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Dossier „Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje“

Dossier „Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje“

Dosije-SljivovicaIMitrovoPolje-enAfter capturing Žepa in late July 1995 approximately 800 Bosniaks from Žepa crossed the River Drina and entered the territory of the Republic of Serbia, frightened for their lives after rumours had spread of the crimes committed by the Army of Republika Srpska in Srebrenica. Most of them were members of the Army of BiH, but there were also civilians, including dozens of underage boys. Almost immediately after crossing, the men were taken captive by border guards of the Yugoslav Army and members of Special Police Units.

After registration and interrogation, accompanied by ill-treatment, all detainees were taken to the Šljivovica camp in Braneško Polje, near Čajetina. As there was no room in Šljivovica for such a large number of people, a group of detainees was transferred to another camp, located in Mitrovo Polje (Aleksandrovac municipality). In both camps, detainees were subjected to torture, sexual violence, inhumane treatment, humiliation and starvation, and were robbed of their possessions. Three detainees died as a result of the torture.

The Mitrovo Polje camp was closed in February 1996. The camp in Šljivovica was closed in April 1996, when the last remaining detainees were freed.

To date, no one has been called to account for the torture, abuse and deaths of Žepa male detainees in the camps in Serbia. Although the names are known of the inspectors and guards who were in the camps, no proceedings have ever been brought before any domestic court to establish the criminal responsibility of these individuals for acting contrary to domestic and international law. Neither the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia nor the International Court of Justice has addressed the torture of the Bosniaks in Serbian camps, although both courts were presented with evidence concerning these crimes.

The dossier „Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje“ is available here.

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Public’s Right to Know of War Crimes Trials in Serbia

Public’s Right to Know of War Crimes Trials in Serbia

Logo FHPThe report by the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) analyzes how are the existing mechanisms for public access to trials for war crimes applied and recommends necessary changes in the legislative framework and practice.  

The public’s right to know about the war crimes trials, as a minimum, includes the right to access the courtroom where trials are held and documentation of war crimes cases (indictments, judgements, transcripts and audio/video records of main hearings); the right to record a trial for the purpose of public presentation and the right to keep court records from war crimes cases. Out of the stated rights, only the right to access the courtroom and monitor the trial is strictly adhered to in Serbia and, therefore, it is not specifically analyzed in the Report. The public’s right to access relevant documents from war crimes trials is limited in practice by the refusal of courts to deliver judgments from proceedings that are not final and by excessive anonymisation of data.  

The report is based on several years of practice of the HLC, that monitors national war crimes trials from the start, obtains relevant court documents and reports about them to the public.

The report “Public’s Right to Know of War Crimes Trials in Serbia” is available here.

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TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN SERBIA in the period from 2013 to 2015

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN SERBIA in the period from 2013 to 2015

Izvestaj_o_TP_enThe aim of the report „Transitional Justice in Serbia in the period from 2013 to 2015“ is to inform the domestic and international publics on the progress of the process of establishing transitional justice in Serbia.

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Regional School of Transitional Justice – Journal

Regional School of Transitional Justice – Journal

post_zbornik_IIThe selected papers written by the students of the third generation of the Regional School of Transitional Justice have been gathered in the third issue of the Journal of Papers. The student papers published in this issue deal with topics related to the process of transitional justice in post-Yugoslav countries, including war crimes trials, victims’ right to reparation and reconciliation.

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Access to documents related to crimes against international law in the possesion of Serbian institutions: State Secret Prevails over Right to the Truth

Access to documents related to crimes against international law in the possesion of Serbian institutions: State Secret Prevails over Right to the Truth

Drzavna tajnaOpen access to archives which contain documents that can assist in determining the facts about past human rights violations is a key prerequisite for the establishment of transitional justice processes and mechanisms. In societies like the Serbian, which have experienced periods marked by systematic violence, access to information regarding human rights violations is an essential element of the right of victims and society as a whole to know the truth.

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Report on War Crimes Trials in Serbia during 2014 and 2015

Report on War Crimes Trials in Serbia during 2014 and 2015

dvogodisnji_izvestaj_korice_engThe biannual report on war crimes trials in Serbia offers an insight into all war crimes trials conducted  before the Higher Court and the Appellate Court in Belgrade, as well as before the courts of general jurisdiction. The report gives a brief overview of proceedings for 27 cases, as well as the basic findings of the HLC regarding the cases.

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V Forum for Transitional Justice: History textbooks in post-conflict societies: Education for reconciliation?

V Forum for Transitional Justice: History textbooks in post-conflict societies: Education for reconciliation?

Forum_5Forum for Transitional Justice #5 is exploring the issues of the role of education in the process of dealing with the past and reconciliation, particularly the history textbooks’ content in post-conflict societies and processes of democratization.

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Victims’ Right to Reparation in Serbia and the European Court of Human Rights Standards

Victims’ Right to Reparation in Serbia and the European Court of Human Rights Standards

izvestaj reparacije engFor societies that have experienced periods of massive human rights violations, the issue of reparations for victims is one of the most important elements for the establishment of the rule of law and creating solidarity and a human rights culture.

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“Operation Reka” Dossier

“Operation Reka” Dossier

dosije_reka_logo_engOn 27 and 28 April 1999, the Yugoslav Army (VJ) and Serbian Ministry of Interior (MUP) conducted a joint, large-scale operation named “Operation Reka” in the Kosovo villages lying west of the town of Gjakovë/Đakovica. During the operation, members of Serbian forces killed at least 350 ethnic Albanian civilians, and expelled thousands more to Albania. The mortal remains of 309 victims were found in the secret mass graves in Belgrade suburb in 2001. With the number of victims, the attack against the civilian population in the Reka e Keq/Reka Valley was the gravest crime against civilians committed during the war in Kosovo, and among the gravest of all the crimes committed in the 1990s in the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

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