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The release of the convicted war criminal Sreten Lukic and his return to Serbia highlights how the Belgrade authorities are still doing nothing to prosecute other high-ranking officials for wartime crimes in Kosovo and the subsequent cover-up. I…
Unmarked graves in Djakovca (Gjakove) cemetery, July 1999. Witnesses said that Serbian forces exhumed and moved at least 70 bodies from here in May of that year.
News

Leaders Show Little Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Last week, an appeals panel of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) upheld the 2017 genocide conviction of Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Ratko Mladić. Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said of Mladić, “His name…
A woman among the graves of victims of the Srebrenica genocide, at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
News
While eyes were fixed on elections in the United States last week, a president in Europe resigned to face trial for atrocity crimes committed more than 20 years ago. Kosovo’s Specialist Prosecutor’s Office formally charged President…
Then-President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.  ©2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
News

Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
News

Impunity Hampers Sustainable Peace

This week marks 20 years since the end of the Kosovo war. What began as systematic Serbian state oppression led to attacks by an ethnic Albanian armed group, a vicious government response, and 78 days of NATO airstrikes. …
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On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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Slobodan Praljak convicted of crimes against humanity in Bosnia

Media outlets around the world seized on the dramatic suicide of convicted Bosnian Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak, who drank poison in court and died on November 29. But focus should remain on the horrible crimes – the…
Slobodan Praljak apparaît à la télévision lors de la diffusion du procès en appel à La Haye (Pays-Bas) de six officiers croates de Bosnie accusés de crimes de guerre à l’encontre de musulmans lors du conflit de Bosnie en 1992-1995. Photo prise à Mostar (B
News

Yugoslav Tribunal’s Final Trial Highlights Need for National Justice

(Brussels) – The conviction of Ratko Mladic, once known as the “Butcher of Bosnia,” for genocide and other crimes on November 22, 2017, shows that justice catches up with those responsible for horrific atrocities, Human Rights Watch…
Mejra Dzogaz cries near the graves of her family members at the Memorial Center in Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 km north-west of Srebrenica, on April 7, 2014. Dzogaz lost her three sons, husband and father in the Srebrenica massacre.
News
It was just a bolt of pink cotton lying on the floor of a school gym but more than 20 years later, it haunts me still – soldiers tore off strips of that cloth, blindfolded dozens of men, trucked them to a nearby field, shot them, and buried all but a…
Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a coffin July 10, 2005 with remains of their relative in a factory hall in Potocari where 610 victims of Srebrenica massacre wait for the funeral.
News

National Courts Should Step Up Efforts on Wartime Atrocity Cases

(Brussels) – The conviction of Radovan Karadzic, the former president of the Republic of Srpska, for his role in the Srebrenica genocide and other grave crimes shows that persistence can deliver justice, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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News

Witness Protection Required

(Brussels) - The Kosovo government and assembly took an important step toward justice on August 3, 2015, by creating a special court to try serious crimes committed after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human Rights Watch said today. The Kosovo government and…
News
"[T]housands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson. These are truly scenes…
A woman cries near the coffin of her relative among 136 newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.
News

Meeting in Washington with Prime Minister

(Washington, DC) – US Vice President Joe Biden should urge Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucić to take concrete steps to advance human rights protection, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Biden released today. Biden and Vucić will meet this week…
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Vice President Joe Biden                              The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20500             RE: Human Rights Situation in Serbia  Dear Vice President Biden…
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Almost 20 years after Bosnian Serb forces slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upheld the convictions of five men for genocide for what is considered the worst…
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Justice Needed for Post-War Crimes

(Brussels) – Kosovo’s newly formed parliament should promptly enact the legislative and constitutional changes required for the special court on post-war atrocity crimes to function, Human Rights Watch said today. Kosovo held parliamentary elections on…
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Parliament Should Also Endorse EU Law Mission Extension

(Brussels) – Kosovo’s parliament should approve the establishment of a special court located abroad to try alleged war crimes and other serious crimes committed during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. The parliament should also agree to extend the…
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By most measures, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is the gold standard for international justice. With 69 convictions, it has brought to justice many of the people behind the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s Balkan…