Invitation to Attend Presentation of Report „Judging with impunity: The role of prosecutors and judges in show trials of Kosovo Albanians in the period 1998-2000 “

Invitation to Attend Presentation of Report  „Judging with impunity: The role of prosecutors and judges in show trials of Kosovo Albanians in the period 1998-2000 “

Suditi-nekaznjeno-enThe Humanitarian Law Center will present the Report titled Judging with impunity: The role of prosecutors and judges in show trials of Kosovo Albanians in the period 1998-2000“, on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017. The presentation will take place in the Great Hall of the Media Center in Belgrade (Terazije nr. 3, II floor) at 11:00.

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School of transitional justice: knowledge leads to recognition

School of transitional justice: knowledge leads to recognition

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A public lecture on the court-established facts about the genocide in Srebrenica, held on July 11th in Belgrade, marked the end of the 8th Transitional Justice School of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC).

This year’s School of Transitional Justice was held with the support of the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Belgrade. It was attended by students of law, political science, economics, history, and security, and activists from human rights organizations, youth workers, lawyer and court interns. Over the past few weeks they have gained knowledge about the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the armed conflicts that followed, the efforts of institutions and non-governmental organizations to provide the victims and societies with recognition and access to justice and truth, the contribution of the Hague Tribunal and domestic judicial processes, and the court-established facts about Operation „Storm“ (Oluja), the siege of Vukovar, and crimes in Kosovo. On these topics, they entered into discussions with historians Radina Vučetić and Marijana Toma, with Ivan Jovanović, an expert on international law, with a professor at the Law School of Union University, Saša Gajin, as well as with the HLC’s researchers.


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Dossier: “Deportation of Srebrenica Refugees”

Dossier: “Deportation of Srebrenica Refugees”

Dosije_Deportacije-logo-enAfter the fall of Srebrenica on 11 July, 1995, an estimated 7,905 persons disappeared, mostly men considered by the Army of Republika Srpska as “able-bodied”.  DNA analysis of the mortal remains of those found in mass graves, to date, has enabled positive identification of 5,977 persons killed in Srebrenica.

Most of these men were killed between 13 and 16 July 1995, in mass executions at several locations. A day before the fall of the enclave, between ten and sixteen thousand men fled into the forests around Srebrenica, intending to reach the “liberated territory” under the control of the Army of BiH. The search for, capture and killing of these men continued for weeks after the fall of Srebrenica.

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Presentation of “Deportation of Refugees from Srebrenica” Dossier

Presentation of “Deportation of Refugees from Srebrenica” Dossier

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The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) will hold the presentation of the “Deportation of Srebrenica Refugees” Dossier on Thursday, July 13, 2017. The presentation will take place in the Great Hall of the Media Center in Belgrade (Terazije 2, II floor) at 11:00.

After the fall of Srebrenica on 11 July, 1995, approximately 8,000 people disappeared, mostly men considered by the Army of Republika Srpska as “able-bodied”. Most of these men were killed in the period July 13-16, 1995, and they were mainly killed at mass execution sites located on the territory of Bratunac and Zvornik municipalities.

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EP: Serbia to end impunity and take responsibility for war crimes

EP: Serbia to end impunity and take responsibility for war crimes

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On June 14th 2017, after several months of delay, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a Resolution on the European Commission 2016 Report on Serbia. The Report presents a regular annual review of the progress of Serbia towards fulfilling the criteria for accession to the European Union, and it relies on the annual report of the European Commission on Serbia. The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) urged Serbia to strengthen cooperation with neighbouring countries and encourage good neighbourly relations, as well as to invest greater effort in resolving bilateral issues. In terms of war crimes, Serbia is expected to eliminate impunity, accept responsibility and take very concrete steps towards overcoming the legacy of the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

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European Commission: Serbia is slowly meeting the criteria for EU membership

European Commission: Serbia is slowly meeting the criteria for EU membership

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In June 2017, the European Commission (EC) published its second semi-annual overview of the state of play as regards meeting the criteria for Serbia’s accession to the European Union (EU), as defined in Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights). In accordance with the EU General Position on Accession Negotiations with the Republic of Serbia, the interim benchmarks for Chapters 23 have been established, and when it comes to war crimes, a number of measures are envisaged that will enable the EU recommendations for more effective domestic trials to be addressed in an adequate manner. The measures of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the implementation of these recommendations are defined in the Action Plan for Chapter 23, and this semi-annual report shows whether and how much progress Serbia has made in their implementation. The EC has concluded that, despite the fact that more than a year has passed since the adoption of the Action Plan for Chapter 23 (adopted at the end of April 2016), implementation is still in many cases at an early or very early stage.

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Campaign for the establishment of RECOM under the auspices of the Berlin Process

Campaign for the establishment of RECOM under the auspices of the Berlin Process

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In May 2017, in the course of just a few days, 50,000 citizens of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Pristina, Zagreb, Belgrade, Nis, Presevo, Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Subotica and Novi Pazar signed the petition calling on the leaders of post-Yugoslav states to conclude an official agreement to establish RECOM as part of the Berlin Process. The aim of the campaign was to inform the public about the obligations of states and political leaders in the region undertaken in the official declarations signed at the Summit of Western Balkan Leaders in Berlin (2014), Vienna (2015) and Paris (2015), calling for “concrete steps to be taken by Western Balkan leaders towards lasting reconciliation in the region.”

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Serbia refuses to apply provisions of Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions

Serbia refuses to apply provisions of Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions

8th of June 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions, which prescribes the responsibility of a commander to prevent the commission of crimes and punish the perpetrators.

Article 87, paragraph 3 of the Protocol: „The High Contracting Parties and Parties to the conflict shall require any commander who is aware that subordinates or other persons under his control are going to commit or have committed a breach of the Conventions or of this Protocol, to initiate such steps as are necessary to prevent such violations of the Conventions or this Protocol, and, where appropriate, to initiate disciplinary or penal action against violators thereof.” Protocol I had been incorporated into national military legislation already back in 1988. Although there is legal basis, no one has ever been prosecuted for command responsibility in Serbia for crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) filed a number of criminal complaints against commanders in whose areas of responsibility crimes had been committed. Apart from opening an investigation in the case of Dragan Živanović, HLC’s criminal complaints have been ignored. Not a single high-ranking person has been prosecuted by the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor of Serbia in 13 years since the beginning of its work.

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The exhibition on the destruction of cultural heritage sites opened in Belgrade

The exhibition on the destruction of cultural heritage sites opened in Belgrade

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On Saturday, May 27th 2017 the exhibition titled “Targeting monuments-Targeting history and memory” was opened in Belgrade. The exhibition consists of photographs, videos, eyewitness testimonies and documents that speak of the enormous scale of destroyed cultural heritage during the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The exhibition is based on the eponymous narrative, which shows how serious crimes against the cultural, historical and religious heritage committed during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo were investigated, reconstructed and prosecuted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).


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