Digital Narrative of the Humanitarian Law Center – “10th Sabotage Detachment”

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On the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the execution of captured Srebrenica men at the Branjevo military farm, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presents its fourth digital narrative “10th Sabotage Detachment”. The narrative is created on the basis of a HLC Dossier: “10th Sabotage Detachment of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska” that was publicly presented in 2011.

The 10th Sabotage Detachment, a unit of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, participated in the commission of Srebrenica genocide in July 1995. As far as is known, members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment took part in two mass executions of Bosniak men from Srebrenica in July 1995 – the one at the Branjevo military farm on 16 July, in which about 1,200 captured Bosniaks from Srebrenica were killed, and the one in the village of Bišina on 23 July 1995, in which at least 39 prisoners were killed.

The digital narrative contains a description of the events in question, a number of survivors’ accounts, numerous documents that clearly suggest that members of the 10th sabotage detachment were responsible for these events, and several court judgments that confirm their responsibility.

The digital narrative is available at the following link.

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Online discussion: War Crimes Trials in the Context of Serbia’s Accession to the European Union Tuesday, Jun 29, 2021 at 12:00

Online-razgovor-enThe Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) invites you to a discussion “War Crimes Trials in the Context of Serbia’s Accession to the European Union”, during which a “Model Strategy for the Prosecuting of War Crimes Committed During and in Relation to the Armed Conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia (Period: 2021-2026)” (Model Strategy), as well as the analysis of the results achieved during the implementation of the National Strategy for War Crimes Prosecution (2016-2020) will be presented.


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Policy paper: Awarding restitution claims for victims of sexual violence in war crimes proceedings before Serbian courts

predlog-prakticne-politike-enAn associated action for restitution constitutes a claim for the compensation of damages, recovery of property or the annulment of a legal transaction arising from the commission of a criminal offence.

In criminal proceedings, the injured party may file an associated action for damages starting from the investigation stage until the end of the main hearing and the claim shall be decided by the court unless it would delay the proceedings.

Although awarding this claim has been laid down as a rule in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, the courts in the Republic of Serbia have been interpreting this legal provision as an exception. Namely, ever since 2003, from which time specialized court divisions handling solely war crime trials have been in existence, not a single war crime victim has been awarded damages in associated action during the criminal proceedings, but they have been referred to exercise their right to compensation in civil action.


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Conference “From Stigma to Justice – Sexual Violence in War”

Konferencija-enMarking the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) invites you to online conference “From Stigma to Justice – Sexual Violence in War “ that will take place on Tuesday, 15 June 2021 from 11:00 am via the Zoom application.

The conference will feature three panel discussions at which experts, each within their own field of expertise,  will discuss the importance of reparations for victims of sexual violence, the stigma attached to victims of sexual violence, why women are not believed when testifying about the violence they experienced, as well as the ways to overcome trauma and the need for systematic support for these victims.

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Dossier: VRS 43rd Motorised Brigade in Prijedor

43mb-enBetween May and August 1992, units of the 1st Krajina Corps of the Army of the Republika Srpska (VRS), together with the police of the Republika Srpska, Territorial Defence Force (TO) units and various volunteer groups, carried out attacks on a large number villages in the municipality of Prijedor inhabited predominantly by Bosniaks and Croats.

In the documents of the VRS and the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) of the Republika Srpska, combat operations in the Prijedor municipality were referred to as “cleansing operations” and actions aimed to crush extremist groups. However, as established in several judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), these operations involved the systematic killings, abuses, arrests and detention of non-Serbs, as well as the destruction and looting of their property.

More than 3,000 civilians died in the territory of Prijedor municipality in 1992, and around 38,000 Bosniaks and Croats left the municipality before the second half of October of 1992.


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EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Presentation of the Dossier “VRS 43rd Motorised Brigade in Prijedor”

Predstavljanje-Dosijea-slika-engOn Monday, 31 May 2021, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) will present its fourteenth Dossier, entitled “VRS 43rd Motorised Brigade in Prijedor”.

The Dossier provides insights into the structure and operations of the 43rd Motorised Brigade (43rd MtBr), a unit of the 1st Krajina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) during the summer of 1992, when this unit, in tandem with units of the Republika Srpska Police force, Territorial Defence force, and various volunteer groups, carried out attacks on numerous villages and settlements in Prijedor municipality inhabited predominantly by Bosniaks and Croats. The attacks were followed by systematic killings, mistreatment, arrests, detentions and expulsions of non-Serb civilians, and the destruction and looting of their property.

More than 3,000 civilians died in the territory of Prijedor municipality in 1992, and around 38,000 Bosniaks and Croats left the municipality before the second half of October of 1992.


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Report on War Crimes Trials in Serbia during 2020

GI-slika-engThe HLC has monitored all war crimes trials conducted in the territory of Serbia in 2020, namely a total of 21 cases conducted before the War Crimes Departments of the Higher Court and/or the Court of Appeal in Belgrade.

The Report provides a brief overview of the proceedings and of the HLC’s basic findings in respect of cases which are of public relevance. A large number of the war crimes cases covered by this Report have been going on for a number of years now, so that previous HLC annual trial reports are also relevant for a full grasp of the course of the proceedings and the pertinent HLC findings.


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Presentation of the Report on War Crimes Trials in Serbia during 2020

Predstavljanje-GI-slika-engThe Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) will present the Report on War Crimes Trials in Serbia during 2020 on Friday, May 14, 2021, at 11:30 AM, via the Zoom application.
The Report includes an analysis of 21 cases monitored by the HLC before the war crimes departments of the Higher Court and the Court of Appeals in Belgrade. Also, the Report contains an overview of the general findings on war crimes trials during 2020, as well as important socio-political events that are vital for war crimes trials in Serbia.

 

 

Speakers:

  • Bekim Blakaj, Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo
  • Marina Kljaić, attorney of the injured parties
  • Ivana Žanić, Humanitarian Law Center

You can follow the event via the Zoom at the following link: bit.ly/gi2020z

Simultaneous translation into English is provided

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Online screening of the documentary The Prosecutors

prosecutorsVictims dismissed as “collateral damage”. Survivors silenced. Criminals left unpunished. This is the history of sexual violence in conflict that lawyers are trying to change.

“Rape and pillage” are concepts as old as war itself. Certainly, war carries with it the idea of gathering the spoils found by those who stand victorious on the battlefield. But sexual violence is a war crime, not collateral damage, and it must be confronted. However, the risks and sacrifices involved in ensuring that the legal system provides justice for everyone run deep.

The Prosecutors is a feature length documentary that tells the story of three dedicated lawyers who fight to ensure that rape in war is not met with impunity. Filmed over five years on three continents, it takes viewers from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Bosnia and Herzegovina to Colombia on the long journey towards justice.

You can watch the thirty-minute version of the film for free from April 26 to May 9. After registration you will get the link and code which are needed to access the movie.

Registration is available here.

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Report „The right to reparation in compensation lawsuits: the practice of Serbian courts 2017-2020“

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In March 12th, 2021 the Humanitarian Law Center presented the report „The right to reparation in compensation lawsuits: the practice of Serbian courts 2017-2020“.

This report covers the analysis of cases which were active in the period between 2017 and 2020. Since the duration of most of these cases is longer than three years, for the ease of following the course of the proceedings, this report gives a brief overview of the course of the proceedings even before 2017.

The report is divided into three parts. First part analyzes the legal framework that regulates the victims’ right to reparation in Serbia. Second part analyzes individual cases where the HLC represented the victims, while third part deals with the main problems that the HLC has identified in its work as key obstacles hindering the victims from vindicating their reparation claims.

The report is available on this link

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