On the occasion of the retirement of Ljubiša Diković, the Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces

On the occasion of the retirement of Ljubiša Diković, the Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces

dikovic_penzija-tanjugAfter Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has accepted a request for retirement by the Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Ljubiša Diković, on Friday, September 14, 2018, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) reaffirms its belief that Diković should have been replaced earlier, since the HLC submitted serious allegations that the 37th Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav Army (37th Mtbr VJ), commanded by Diković during the Kosovo conflict, killed about 1,400 Albanian civilians, while thousands of others were expelled. Only two days after the HLC published its Dossier “The Ljubiša Diković File”, the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office (OWCP) informed the public that it had investigated the HLC’s allegations and found no basis for accusations of Diković’s criminal responsibility. Since it was not realistic that the findings from the Dossier could have been be investigated in just two days, the HLC demanded from the OWCP that it proceed with a comprehensive investigation into the allegations regarding Diković’s responsibility for the said crimes.

The HLC has described the operations of the 37th Mtbr in two Dossiers – “ Ljubiša Diković” and “Rudnica”, in which evidence was provided concerning the killing, rape, robbery and expulsion of Albanian civilians in 10 different locations (Staro Čikatovo, Ćirez, Baks, Izbica, Šavarine, Vrbovac, Donja Sudimlja, Rezala, Donji Zabelj, Gladno Selo) – crimes that were committed during the Kosovo conflict. To this day, the OWCP has not filed an indictment for any of these crimes, and the HLC has no data on whether the OWCP has initiated investigations into these crimes.

Awarding him the Order of Karađorđe’s Star – 1st class, while also bearing in mind the claims of the President of Serbia that Diković was an honourable and committed officer, and his always taking Diković’s side when “they falsely accused him and wanted to put a seal of shame on his forehead”, represents an insult to all victims of the conflict in Kosovo, and a slight to their sufferings. The intention was to reduce the extent of the crimes committed, which were confirmed in the two judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (the Šainović and al. and Vlastimir Djordjević Cases).

The HLC points out that the OWCP’s obligation is to investigate all allegations of potential perpetrators of war crimes, and that Ljubiša Diković, as the former commander of the unit that participated in the conflict in Kosovo, must in no way be an exception to that OWCP obligation.

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Invitation to the Exhibition “Besieged Sarajevo“

Invitation to the Exhibition   “Besieged Sarajevo“

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The “Besieged Sarajevo” Exhibition is the story of the life of the citizens during the siege of Sarajevo, and about the persistence, resourcefulness and creativity of the Sarajevans who lived 1,335 days without electricity, water or heating.  At the exhibition you can see how daily life in the city flowed, where and how Sarajevans procured food and water, how the markets and streets looked, how people communicated, how hospitals and schools operated, and how cultural life was fostered and developed… The story of the siege is told through photographs, documents and objects made by the citizens. This is a permanent exhibition of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Citizens of Sarajevo also participated in the process of its creation, donating war items to the Museum, and sharing their war stories and memories.

In cooperation with the History Museum of BiH, the Humanitarian Law Center will open the exhibition on September 25th 2018 at the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Stari grad “Parobrod” in Belgrade (Kapetan Mišina 6a), starting at 7 p.m. Until October 6, 2018, several accompanying events will be organized as part of the exhibition, including:

Programme

27. IX at 5 p.m. Public lecture on the Siege of Sarajevo

  • Nemanja Stjepanović

4. X at 6 p.m. Movie “The Siege”, Remy Ourdan

  • A talk with the author and the citizens of Sarajevo
  • (reserve your seat at: [email protected])

5. X at 6 p.m. Book launch and discussion

“Some Kind of Justice – The ICTY’s Impact in Bosnia and Serbia”, Diane Orentlicher

Discussants:

  • Diane Orentlicher, Washington College of Law, US
  • Hrvoje Klasić, Historian, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Erna Mačkić, Balkan Investigative Research Network, BH
  • Adriatik Kelmendi, journalist, Kosovo
  • Nemanja Stjepanović, journalist, Serbia

The entrance to the exhibition is free of charge. For any additional information please send an email to [email protected] or call (011) 3349-766.

The exhibition is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland to Serbia and to Montenegro, the Civil Rights Defenders, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation – Office in Belgrade

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With regard to the Judgment by which the Republic of Serbia is obliged to pay compensatory damages to the Bogujevci sisters

With regard to the Judgment by which the Republic of Serbia is obliged to pay compensatory damages to the Bogujevci sisters

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On June 7, 2018, the High Court in Belgrade issued a judgment, obliging the Republic of Serbia (RS) to pay compensation for non-pecuniary damages to the total amount of 3.050.000 Serbian dinars (RSD), to the sisters Saranda, Jehona and Lirie Bogujevci (Sisters Bogujevci), severely wounded in the crime committed by the “Scorpions” unit in Podujevo on March 28, 1999. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) considers that the trial in this case lasted for an intolerable length of time, and that the amount of compensation awarded was inadequate in relation to the serious injuries sustained by the sisters Bogujevci in this crime. On 28 August 2018, with the HLC’s support, the Sisters Bogujevci filed an appeal with the Appellate Court in Belgrade, within the statutory deadline of 15 days after the judgment was received.

On March 28, 1999, members of the “Scorpions” unit shot and killed 14 Albanian civilians in the Gashi family’s backyard in Podujevo – seven children aged two to 15, and seven women. Five children from the Bogujevci family – Saranda, Lirie, Jehona, Genc and Fatos – survived the shooting, although severely wounded.  For this crime, five members of the “Scorpions” unit were sentenced to multiple years of imprisonment before a domestic court. The “Scorpions” unit was part of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia (MUP), and according to the Law on Obligations, the Republic of Serbia was responsible for the damage that its state authorities (in this case the MUP) did in the course of its work.

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