Fifth Forum on Transitional Justice in Budva
The Fifth Regional Forum on Transitional Justice in Post-Yugoslav Countries will begin on May 29th in Bečići, near Budva, and will end on Sunday May 31st. The forum is organized by the Centre for Civic Education and Human Rights Action from Montenegro on behalf of a Coalition of more than 200 non-governmental organizations and individuals from the region, who will use the forum to continue the debate on establishing a Regional Commission to investigate and disclose the facts about war crimes and other serious human rights violations (RECOM) on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
Ranko Krivokapić, Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Pierre Mirel, Director of the DG enlargement Unit for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo Issues, and Ron J.P.M. van Dartel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to Montenegro and Serbia, will open the forum.
A total of 350 people from all successor states to the former Yugoslavia, individuals and representatives of non-governmental organizations, associations of victims and victims’ family members, prosecutors, judges, artists, and youth, will participate in the work of the forum.
During the first day of the forum Abdelhay Moudden, a former member of the Equality and Reconciliation Commission from Morocco, and Patrick Burgess, a former advisor to members of the Commission for Reception in East Timor, will present the experiences of other communities and regions in their attempt to find the truth, reconciliation and prevention of future conflicts through dialogue and objective research of the facts.
Public hearing of victims and witnesses of war crimes will take place during the second day of the forum. Victims and witnesses will speak of their personal tragedies in order to preserve them from oblivion, but also to contribute to the process of truth-seeking about the past. Anđelko Kvesić, a former detainee in the Zenica Correctional Facility, Husnija Avdagić, a detainee in several camps in BiH, Isa Gashi, who survived execution by Serb forces in Kosovo, Nenad Mihajlović, whose two sons were taken by KLA members in Kosovo and have never been found, Nikola Šašo, whose parents were killed during Operation Storm in Croatia, Mario Lučić, a former detainee in the Morinj Camp in Montenegro will, among other participants, speak at the forum.
The documentary War for Peace by Koča Pavlovič from Montenegro will be screened during the accompanying programme at the end of the first day, after which a discussion about the film will be held and the author, together with journalists Luko Brailo and Šeki Radončić, and Vesna Teršelič, Leader of Documenta a Zagreb-based non-governmental organization and one of the founders of the initiative for establishing RECOM, will take part in the discussion.
The objective of RECOM is to establish an accurate, official, and objective account about war crimes and other serious human rights violations committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, including acknowledgement of victims and their suffering, and to prevent the recurrence of crimes. RECOM should be a regional victim-oriented body founded at arm’s length by the successor states to the former Yugoslavia.