(srpski) Studenti u poseti FHP-u

(srpski) Studenti u poseti FHP-u

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The Dossier “Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina” Presented in Belgrade

The Dossier “Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina” Presented in Belgrade

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On Thursday, January 31, 2019, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presented its eleventh dossier on possible perpetrators of war crimes during the armed conflicts of the 90s in the former Yugoslavia. The Dossier “Crimes against the Croats in Vojvodina” shows that in the period 1991-1995, in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, there was a campaign of intimidation and pressure on Croatian civilians, with the aim to force them to leave their homes, and Serbia as well.

Opening the event, the director of the HLC legal programme, Ivana Žanić, stated that evidence was presented in Dossier about threats, intimidation, destruction of property and the disappearances and murders of Croats throughout Vojvodina. The main inspirers of the campaign of intimidation and persecution of Croats were members of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), led by Vojislav Šešelj, as well as various groups associated with this party. In this persecution of Croats, members of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) also participated, including the State Security Service (RDB). Šešelj explicitly called for the persecution of Vojvodina Croats in his speeches, advocating for the forced removal of as many Croats from Serbia as of Serbs forced to move from Croatia. At that meeting in Hrtkovci, on May 6, 1992, Vojislav Šešelj said that there was no place for Croats in Vojvodina, which is why Serbs from Hrtkovci should “get rid of them” as soon as possible. After this speech, a campaign of intimidation began, which resulted in the departure of around 450 Croatian families from Hrtkovci. Žanić concluded that there is nothing surprising about the absence of any reaction by state organs to the statement made by Vojislav Šešelj after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had convicted him of persecuting Croats from Hrtkovci – that he would gladly repeat his war crimes – since the current political officials of Serbia were mostly members of the SRS at the time when the Croats were expelled from Vojvodina.


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IRMCT and NGOs on the legacy of the ICTY

IRMCT and NGOs on the legacy of the ICTY

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On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, a meeting of representatives of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Courts (IRMCT) and of non-governmental organizations from Serbia was held at the premises of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC). The meeting was attended by the IRMCT Secretary-General, Olufemi Elias, and his associates, and by representatives of the HLC, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights and the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights. Participants in the meeting discussed the continuation of the cooperation as regards the transfer of facts established by the courts in The Hague, which were responsible for helping to punish violations of international humanitarian law during the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The need for a new and more active approach to the younger generations, the importance of their receiving continuous information and education on events from the recent past, the need to overcome the social climate of denial of crimes and denial of responsibility, and a vigorous advocacy for removing impunity for war crimes, were emphasized.

Representatives of the IRMCT visited the library and archive of the HLC, and were informed in more detail about the transfer of the publicly accessible archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which the HLC has been carrying out for almost 15 years.

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Zdravko Grebo has passed away

Zdravko Grebo has passed away

Zdravko-GrebaOn January 29, 2019, Professor Zdravko Grebo, a long-time friend, associate and member of the HLC Executive Board, passed away in Sarajevo. Always perspicacious, amusing and charming, ever ready to share an anecdote from his life regarding almost any topic, he had a proposal for a solution to the challenges we might be facing. Until the very end of his life, he consistently and firmly advocated for establishing the truth and responsibility for the crimes committed during the wars in the territory of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. The passing of Professor Grebo is a great loss for all sincere advocates of a civil society, but his works remain, for all his admirers to be proud of. We will remember him and keep him in our memories always.

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Presentation of the HLC Dossier: “Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina”

Presentation of the HLC Dossier: “Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina”

Dosije_Hrvati_u_Vojvodini_enOn Thursday, January 31, 2019, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) will present its eleventh dossier, entitled “Crimes against Croats in Vojvodina” (Dossier). The presentation will take place in the Great Hall of the Media Center in Belgrade (Terazije 3, II floor) at 12:00.

During the period 1991-1995, in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, there was a campaign of intimidation and pressure on Croatian civilians with the aim of forcing them to leave their homes, and Serbia as well. Vojislav Šešelj and his Serbian Radical Party were the main advocates and inspirers of this campaign. Violence against Croats in Vojvodina included attacks on their private property and religious buildings, as well as threats, physical attacks and murders, and resulted in the expulsion of several thousands of Croats from Vojvodina.

This intimidation campaign took place with the awareness and tacit approval of the political structures of the Republic of Serbia. The evidence presented in this Dossier shows that in some acts of violence against Croats, the persons from the State Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia also took part.

Speakers:

  • Jovana Kolarić
  • Ivana Žanić
  • Vesna Abjanović

Simultaneous interpretation into English will be provided

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Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes and presentation of Regional Judicial Cooperation in the Prosecution of War crimes: Analysis and Improvement Recommendations

Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes and presentation of Regional Judicial Cooperation in the Prosecution of War crimes: Analysis and Improvement Recommendations

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On Thursday, 20 December 2018, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presented its “Third Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes”. Opening the discussion on the report, Ivana Žanić from the HLC pointed out that the main obstacle to gathering information for the preparation of this report has been the fact that the Working Body, which should monitor and report on the implementation of the National Strategy, was established after a year and a half of delay. So far, they have published a total of four reports, which together cover the period up until September 2018. Apart from the fact that the reports of the Working Body were late, they have often also been confusing and difficult to understand, and some their estimates of the implementation of the activities both arbitrary and illogical.

The author of the Third Report, Višnja Šijačić, pointed out that the HLC’s findings show that 33 months since the adoption of the National Strategy, there has been no progress in the field of war crimes prosecution. The delay in the implementation of the Strategy is a dominant factor, war crimes trials continue to be unreasonably long, and no progress has been made in the field of the procedural rights of victims, while the number of missing persons has not been reduced at the expected rate. She pointed out that in the period covered by this report there was no progress in terms of improving society’s attitudes towards war crimes or war crimes trials. On the contrary, the past few months have seen an expansion of the promotion of convicted war criminals in the public, and the denial of genocide in Srebrenica.

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