HLC: Results of the List of Individual Direct Victims in Kosovo in the Period from 1998-2000 on 15 October 2008

In view of the HLC information on the number of killed and the missing in Kosovo that the Serbian media have falsely relayed, we are making the following statement:

By 15 October 2008, HLC had individually registered a total of 13,472 victims [9,260 Albanians, 2,488 Serbs, 470 victims of other ethnic background, and 1,254 victims whose ethnic background has not been determined] of murders and disappearances in Kosovo prior to, during the armed conflict, and immediately after the deployment of international troops in Kosovo (January 1998 – December 2000). Of the total number, HLC has confirmed the circumstances in which 8,879 victims were killed, or went missing by at least two independent sources. Of these 8,879 victims, 7,707 are Albanians, 822 are Serbs, and 350 victims are of another ethnic background.

Among 4,593 victims about whom HLC still does not have complete information, 1,666 were Serbs [686 members of the army and police, 590 civilians, and 390 victims of unknown status], 1,553 were Albanians [675 civilians, 333 members of KLA, six police officers, and 539 victims of unknown status] and 120 victims were members of other ethic communities. The ethnic background of 1,254 victims has not yet been determined with complete certainty.

Associations of victims’ family members, eyewitnesses, and victims’ family members helped HLC in gathering information and creation of the list of the actual and direct victims. HLC also used information and facts presented and established in trials conducted before the Hague Tribunal and national courts. The Republic of Serbia Commission on Missing Persons provided HLC with its information. In September 2008 the Republic of Serbia Ministry of Defence and HLC began cooperating on the issue of sharing missing information on members of the army who were killed or went missing in Kosovo; the Serbian Ministry of Interior has not yet made a decision upon a request submitted by HLC for obtaining access to information on the killed and missing members of police force.

HLC will begin the public presentation and verification of the information on the registered victims in Serbia and Kosovo in late January 2009, when it expects to correct possible errors and obtain the remaining missing information. The list of individual victims will be published in three volumes of the Kosovo Memory Book and it will be available on the HLC’s website.