Conference for Presentation of Report “Access to Documents on Crimes against International Law in the Possession of Serbian Institutions: State Secret Stronger than Right to Truth”
The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) will present its report “Access to Documents on Crimes against International Law in the Possession of Serbian Institutions: State Secret Stronger than Right to Truth” on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 12:00, at the Media Centre (2nd floor) in Belgrade.
The Report presents the practice of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia in enforcing the rule on access to information of public importance with regard to the investigation of crimes against international law committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Despite the fact that Serbia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and a sponsor of the Resolution on the Right to the Truth adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee, and contrary to its domestic legal framework that guarantees free access to information of public importance, Serbian institutions systematically obstruct public access to documents and also to the government bodies responsible for war crimes processing.
This report draws on HLC’s extensive experience in researching crimes and publishing publicly available evidence regarding as yet unpunished crimes, which also includes using information and documents contained in the archives of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence.
The principle objective of the Report is to point to the need to open state archives containing documents about crimes and gross violations of human rights committed during the 1990s’ wars, thus allowing the realization of the right of victims, their families and the society as a whole to truth, and providing support for the fight against impunity.
The speakers at the conference will be Sandra Orlović, the HLC Executive Director, Milica Kostić, HLC Legal Director, Rodoljub Šabić, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, and Saša Đorđević, researcher in the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy.
The Report was produced with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.