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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.
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A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible…
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Officials from Serbia and Kosovo met in Brussels last week for a second round of negotiations aimed at establishing a formal relationship. Because of the potential for the talks to be politically fraught, negotiators have agreed to limit themselves to…
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People with disabilities, minorities, remain exposed to grave abuses

For many in Europe, the western Balkans still evoke images of the brutal conflicts that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The legacy of those wars continues to shape European Union and US policy toward the region. Repairing the damage…
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Credible Accusations of Disappearances, Executions, and Organ-Trafficking

(New York) - The United States and European governments should demand thorough and impartial criminal investigations in Kosovo and Albania into allegations of serious crimes by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Protecting the health of vulnerable, displaced people

This fall, the European Commission (EC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) began closing down lead-contaminated camps in Kosovo, where displaced Roma were living in abysmal health conditions for a decade. Human Rights Watch…
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With Brussels increasingly the most influential actor in Kosovo, the European Commission annual progress report is a key benchmark for its performance on human rights. The latest report, published yesterday, rightly highlights the ongoing weakness of…
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Western Europe Should Halt Deportations and Assist Roma Forced Back to Kosovo

(Pristina) - Roma and related minority groups deported from Western Europe to Kosovo face discrimination and severe deprivation amounting to human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 77-page report, "Rights Displaced:…
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When Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, there was optimism that after almost a decade of drift, greater self-government and a newly energized international presence led by the EU might finally move it in the right direction.  Two years on,…
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Crisis Conditions for Roma Stuck in Lead-Tainted Site for a Decade

(Brussels) - The Kosovo authorities need to work with international donors  to close lead-contaminated camps occupied by internally displaced Roma without delay, relocate their inhabitants, and provide medical treatment for lead poisoning, Human Rights…
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Many people in Bosnia and beyond thought they would never see Radovan Karadzic standing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It seemed almost beyond the dreams of the rape victims that I interviewed in Bosnia in…
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The fact that Radovan Karadzic will face trial has important ramifications for the case against Omar Bashir, which must not now be delayed. Most obviously, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic is good news for the victims of the Bosnian war and their relatives…
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EU Should Press Zagreb to Take Stronger Action on Security, Housing, Employment

Serb refugees returning to Croatia face significant obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Croatia is a candidate for European Union membership, and respect for minority rights is a…
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Slobodan Milosevic conducted his legal defense much as he did his political life: with bombast, bullying and belligerence. Observing Milosevic for weeks and weeks in The Hague in the first half of his four-year trial, it became quickly clear to me that he…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…