The Public’s Right to Know about War Crimes Trials in Serbia at risk

The Public’s Right to Know about War Crimes Trials in Serbia at risk

trz-azuriranjeDue to the frequent removal of the content from the official website of the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP), the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) wishes to point out a tendency to put at risk the public’s right to know about the war crimes trials taking place in Serbia. Namely, over the past few weeks, the contents of the war crimes cases that have been processed or are still being prosecuted before the War Crimes Chamber of the Belgrade High Court have been removed from the official website of the OWCP.

During previous years, the website of the OWCP was a rare example of the well-designed and satisfactory page of a state body full of content, where the public was able to become acquainted with documentation of cases that had been prosecuted or whose prosecution was ongoing. However, instead of the different sections of this webpage being updated with new content in a timely manner, it is now no longer possible to find submissions of even elementary information regarding previous statistics, cases, indictments, closing arguments or complaints. By removing the stated content, the public’s right to be informed in a continuous and timely manner about the indictments, as well as about the phases of individual war crimes proceedings, has been endangered.


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THE APPEALS CHAMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDUAL MECHANISM FOR CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS DELIVERS JUDGEMENT IN THE KARADŽIĆ CASE

THE APPEALS CHAMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDUAL MECHANISM FOR CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS DELIVERS JUDGEMENT IN THE KARADŽIĆ CASE

irmct-logoThe Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals composed of Judge Vagn Prüsse Joensen, presiding, Judge William Hussein Sekule, Judge José Ricardo de Prada Solaesa, Judge Graciela Susana Gatti Santana, and Judge Ivo Nelson de Caires Batista Rosa delivered today its judgement on the appeals filed by Mr. Radovan Karadžić and the Prosecution against the judgement rendered on 24 March 2016 by a Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”).

Mr. Karadžić, who was a founding member of the Serbian Democratic Party and, from 17 December 1992, served as President of Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its armed forces, was convicted by the Trial Chamber of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war and sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment.


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The HLC demands that the OWCP investigate Zoran Tadić regarding his involvement in crimes in Škabrnja

The HLC demands that the OWCP investigate Zoran Tadić regarding his involvement in crimes in Škabrnja

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In early March 2019, Zoran Tadić, whom the Croatian authorities suspect of having committed a crime in the Croatian village of Škabrnja in November 1991, fled from Australia, where he had been living since 1992, to Serbia. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) demands that the Office of War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP) act on the criminal charges filed by the HLC in 2017 for the crime committed in Škabrnja, and conduct an efficient and effective investigation regarding Tadić’s involvement in this crime.

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Sentences for rape of Roma women from Skočić too mild

Sentences for rape of Roma women from Skočić too mild

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The Belgrade Court of Appeal rendered a third-instance verdict that reduced the sentences on members of the “Sima’s Chetniks” unit – Tomislav Gavrić, Zoran Đurđević and Zoran Alić – for the inhumane treatment, rape and sexual abuse of three Roma women in the village of Skočić during the second half of 1992. The HLC considers that the policy of lowering the penalty pursued by the courts in Serbia does not lead to just punishment and non-repetition of crimes, nor to justice or compassion for and solidarity with the suffering and pain of war crimes victims.

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