UN can't be tried for Srebrenica massacre

2012-04-13 22:28

Amsterdam - The Dutch Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the United Nations cannot be prosecuted in the Netherlands for failing to prevent genocide against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica near the end of Bosnia's war in 1995.

The final ruling was the last legal option in the Netherlands for a group of survivors of the July 1995 massacre, when as many as 8 000 boys and men were killed by Serb forces in an area that the United Nations had declared a "safe haven".

Lawyers representing a group of 6 000 survivors calling themselves the Mothers of Srebrenica said they would appeal against the decision at the European Court of Human Rights.

"The UN, as the international human rights champion, should not stand above the law but should take responsibility for its role in the Srebrenica genocide in 1995," a statement issued by the group said.

"This is a violation of fundamental human rights and in contravention of the case law of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ)."

In 2001 the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) judged that the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre was an act of genocide.

The fall of Srebrenica to Serb forces was the worst single atrocity during the 1992-95 war and the first act of genocide in Europe since the Nazi Holocaust against Jews.

The Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia near the border with Serbia was under the protection of Dutch peacekeeping troops deployed by the United Nations.

"The Supreme Court upholds the opinion of the [lower] court that the UN has the most far-reaching form of immunity and cannot be prosecuted by any national court," a summary of the ruling said.

Axel Hagedorn, an attorney at the Van Diepen Van der Kroef law firm representing families of the victims, said an appeal would be filed at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg within six months.

"We will argue that the Dutch soldiers and the United nations violated human rights," he said. "Granting legal immunity to a group claiming to defend human rights is like turning things upside down."

Inexperienced and outgunned Dutch soldiers were unable to prevent attacking Serb fighters from capturing Srebrenica, separating Bosnian Muslim men from women and busing them off to dozens of execution sites.

Last year, a Dutch appeals court found the Dutch state responsible for the deaths of three victims, opening the way for compensation claims over the failed peacekeeping mission.

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, indicted by the ICTY near the end of the war for genocide and war crimes over the Srebrenica killings and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo, was arrested a year ago after 16 years on the run.

In December, the tribunal accepted a prosecutor's request to speed up the trial amid fears that Mladic, 69, who has suffered ill health, could die without facing justice as happened with former Yugoslav and Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Read more on:    un  |  the netherlands  |  serbia  |  bosnia  |  genocide
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/Health
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.