New Text of the Bill on Civilian Victims of War further Degrades their Status

New Text of the Bill on Civilian Victims of War further Degrades their Status

Novi tekst nacrta zakona o civilnim zrtvama rata dodatno pogorsava njihov statusThe state secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, Dragan Popovic, has recently said that the state respects and fulfils the rights of victims of war and that the Bill on the Rights of Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Civilians Invalids of War and their Families, which, as it has been announced, will be submitted to the Government, is aligned with the European acquis. As regards this statement and having reviewed the revised text of the Bill, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and the organizations comprising the Coalition Against Discrimination and the Coalition for Access to Justice call on this Ministry to stop deceiving the international and domestic public and above all more than 20,000 civilian victims of war living in Serbia, and to explain why the state refuses to respect their rights guaranteed by international conventions to which Serbia is a signatory.

Share

State Shows Overt Negligence towards Civilian Victims of War

State Shows Overt Negligence towards Civilian Victims of War

Neskrivena nebriga drzave za civilne zrtveOn January 22nd, 2016, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presented the report “Victims’ Right to Reparation in Serbia and the European Court of Human Rights Standards”. The Report sums up the findings about the legal framework and the practice of respect for the right of victims of human rights violations committed during the 1990s to reparation, as evidenced during 2014 and 2015, in relation to the standards of the European Court of Human Rights. Approximately 40 representatives of civil society, victims’ associations, the media, embassies and international organizations participated in the Conference.


Share

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.

Share

Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War Still Hidden from Public Eye

Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War Still Hidden from Public Eye

Ministarstvo Nemanjina

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Veterans and Social Policy (Ministry) has refused to deliver the amended text of the Bill on the Rights of Veterans, Military Invalids, Civilian Invalids of War and Members of Their Families (Bill) to the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which the HLC demanded on the basis of the Law on the Free Access to Information of Public Importance. The HLC notes that, by doing this, the Ministry has not only violated the right to free access to information of public importance, but has also continued with the practice of hiding the process of passing a new law regulating the rights of civilian victims of war from the public eye and from all interested parties.


Share

To Withdraw Discriminatory Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War

To Withdraw Discriminatory Bill on Rights of Civilian Victims of War

vlada_logoWith regard to the announced passing of the Bill on the Rights of War Veterans, Disabled War Veterans, Civilian Invalids of War and their Family Members (Bill), human rights organizations use this opportunity to draw the attention of the public and international community once more to the lack of harmonization of the provisions in this Bill with the mandatory provisions for the protection of human rights, and they call upon the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Veterans and Social Policy (Ministry) to withdraw the Bill from the adoption procedure, and the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the National Assembly to draft and pass a new Bill based on the Model Law on the Rights of Civilian Victims of Human Rights Violations Committed during and in Connection with Armed Conflicts in the Period 1991-2001, which contains normative solutions for the realization of the rights of victims in accordance with international agreements on the protection of human rights and other international standards in the provision of reparation to victims.

Share

State Obliged to Pay Compensatory Damages for Murder of Two Croats from Vojvodina

State Obliged to Pay Compensatory Damages for Murder of Two Croats from Vojvodina

KukujevciThe First Basic Court in Belgrade delivered a first instance judgment upholding the lawsuit filed by Stjepan Oskomić from Kukujevci in its entirety, and ordering the Republic of Serbia to pay the amount of 1,000,000 RSD in compensatory damages for the ethnically motivated murder of his parents Agica and Nikola Oskomić, which was committed in July 1993 in Kukujevci (the Municipality of Šid). The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents Stjepan Oskomić in this case, states that, after more than nine years of proceedings, justice has finally been served by the judgment delivered in this case, and the responsibility of the state for serious ethnically motivated violations of human rights has been established correctly and in line with domestic and international law.

Share

Serbia violates international law by refusing to grant the status of civilian war victims to the victims of Sjeverin

Serbia violates international law by refusing to grant the status of civilian war victims to the victims of Sjeverin

sjeverinRegarding the 23rd anniversary since the crime in Sjeverin

On Thursday, 22nd of October, the opening of the memorial to the victims in Sjeverin will mark the 23rd anniversary of the abduction and murders of 16 Serbian citizens of Bosnian nationality. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and the Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms (the Sandžak Committee) caution that, from the point of view of international law, it is unacceptable for the Republic of Serbia not to approve the status of civilian war victims to the victims of Sjeverin. At the same time, the HLC and the Sandžak Committee state that the engagement of the local community and the municipality of Priboj in the commemoration of this crime and their help in constructing the monument are a rare example of responsible attitude on part of the institutions in the former Yugoslavia towards the victims, who come from an ethnic minority community.

Share

Compensation of Damages for Former Detainees of Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje Camps

Compensation of Damages for Former Detainees of Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje Camps

naknadaThe First Basic Court in Belgrade rendered a judgment on September 19th, 2015, upon the completion of the repeated proceedings, upholding in part the claims made by Ahmet Kamenica and Selim Nuhanović, two Bosniaks who were detained in Šljivovica and Mitrovo Polje camps in Serbia during 1995 and 1996, and obliged the Republic of Serbia to pay the amount of 800,000 RSD in damages for the psychological pain suffered by them. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents Kamenica and Nuhanović in these proceedings, emphasizes that this judgment states precise facts about the torture the prisoners in these camps endured, and that the responsibility of the state for the acts undertaken by the members of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP), who managed and protected these camps, was properly established.

Share

Impunity for mass graves, indifference to the families of the disappeared

Impunity for mass graves, indifference to the families of the disappeared

masovna_grobnicaOn the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared

The International Day of the Disappeared is marked on 30 August, and is aimed at raising awareness about the destiny of forcibly disappeared persons.  The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) draws attention to the fact that, according to the findings in 2015 of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (Committee), Serbia has failed to investigate and punish those responsible for the mass graves holding bodies of Kosovo Albanians in Serbia, including high-ranking persons involved, and has failed to provide reparations to the families of the victims.

Share

Compensation to Kosovo Albanians for human rights violations

Compensation to Kosovo Albanians for human rights violations

Fond_Logo_200_200The First Basic Court in Belgrade passed two judgments ordering the Republic of Serbia to pay compensation to six Kosovo Albanians from Glogovac, in amounts ranging from 125,000 to 370,000 dinars, because of Serbia’s responsibility for torture and unlawful detention committed by members of the Ministry of the Interior (MoI). Although the judgments established the right to compensation for violations of basic human rights, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) emphasizes that the amounts awarded are unjustifiably low and the rationale of the judgments indicates the intention of reducing the state’s responsibility for the widespread torture against Kosovo Albanians in 1999. The HLC lawyers have filed appeals for the judgments to the Court of Appeal in Belgrade.

Share