National Minorities  |  Religious Communities  |  Torture
Vulnerable Groups  |  Legal Aid  |  Reports  |  Antisemitism



PAGE ::: 1

INFO   :::  Human Rights > Vulnerable Groups > Status of refugees in Serbia


Status of refugees in Serbia

09/04/2002, Source: Annual Report - 2001, Author: HCHRS


Issue of refugees, one of the key moral, political and economic topics in Serbia, continues to be sidelined. One gets the impression that the new authorities, like the former regime, use refugees only to further their own ends or for promotional purposes. Status of refugees in Serbia after DOS installation has not improved much, despite authorities' pledges that refugees would become a top priority/concern of the state and society. It was moreover publicly stated that refugees would have the right to decide whether they want to stay in Serbia or return home. It was stressed that "added to all assistance of domestic and international humanitarian organisations, the state must take care of refugees" (Vice Prime Minister of Serbia Zarko Korac, "Politika", 28 February). Much media exposure is given to refugees, but very little was done in practice to alleviate their problems. Objectively their status is exacerbated by a grave social and economic situation in Serbia.

None of the newly-emerged states have taken important measures to resolve the plight of refugees and displaced persons. Moreover elaborate strategies for final resolution of the aforementioned problem are not in place. Only short-term moves are taken and they mostly serve political purposes.

Return of refugees is a regional problem. Until its final resolution the issue of refugees shall be manipulated domestically and may cause new discords and conflicts.

In 2001 there were hints at an accelerated normalisation of relations with the neighbouring countries (Croatia and B&H). Negotiations were held. Presidents of the FRY and the Republic of Croatia Vojislav Kostunica and Stjepan Mesic agreed in Verbania in Italy that normalisation process should be boosted. In their joint statement they indicated that all obstacles to return/repatriation of refugees and displaced persons (Politika, 9 June) should be eliminated. Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Djindjic and President of Croatia Stjepan Mesic, during their Salzburg meeting, urged renewal of co-operation (RTV, B92, 2 July 2001). The most important bilateral result in that regard was signing and ratification of Agreement on Pension, Disabled and Health Insurance.

Lesser cosmetic changes were made and some shortcomings in collective centres have been removed. But situation in most of them is still alarming. Premises are overcrowded. Hygiene is at a very low level. Food is of poor nutritional quality, and often inedible. All this prompted refugees to protest against such appalling conditions of life. For example 205 refugees from Croatia, B&H ad Kosovo, accommodated in Hotel "Park" in Nis staged a hunger strike. "For 10 months now we have been starving for they give us only macaroni, salty tea and some canned food. Many people are sick, anaemic and exhausted, and children has skin rashes. This is a silent liquidation of Serbs who have already been victims of war", assessed refugees and accused the authorities of using food aid destined to refugees for other purposes (Danas, 12 October 2001).

Only minimal humanitarian assistance is provided. Secretary of the Red Cross of Serbia Brankica Bilbija stated that the leading foreign humanitarian agencies have adopted more restrictive criteria for aid granting. Consequently the number of displaced persons meeting those criteria was downscaled from 120,000 to 80,000 persons. Red Cross beneficiaries of foreign aid are: 168,586, refugees 80,000 internally displaced persons from Kosovo and 146,000 socially destitute citizens of Serbia (Danas, 28 September). But even that minimal aid was abused. Zurich-based daily "Fekst" on the basis of a confidential report of Consulting and Auditing Company "Ernest and Young" disclosed that the Yugoslav Red Cross and the Red Cross of Serbia in January 1999-May 2000 embezzled around $ 4.7 million worth of aid provided by EU, ICRC, UNHCR and the WFP (Borba, 12 April 2001).

High Commissioner for Refugees Sandra Raskovic Ivic confirmed that there were different abuses in the Commissariat, and that the old management owed DM 25 million to the Health Fund (Danas, 6 June, 2001).

Amendments to the Act on Citizenship laid down that refugees were entitled to dual citizenship, Yugoslav and citizenship of any newly-emerged state in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. In practice all those who have opted for dual citizenship stopped receiving humanitarian aid and became beneficiaries of social welfare.

Refugees' Associations disclosed that in 1991 over 1,000 refugees committed suicide on the following grounds "depression, lack of job opportunities, penury, and refugee life-related traumas. The state did very little to alleviate the refugee life, and it furthermore maintained that it did not have funds for subsistence of half a million refugees. Majority of suicides were committed in the collective centres" (Glas javnosti, 25 July 2001).

In their statements and interviews to media, representatives of authorities gave priority to integration and encouraged refugees to opt for staying in Serbia. Therefore they consciously put the option of the return on the back burner. They justify the integration strategy by results of the 2001 refugee census-taking. Then, many refugees due to a poorly formulated questions apparently opted for staying in Serbia. But findings of the Helsinki Committee showed refugees would overwhelmingly opt for return, if conditions relating to their return were enhanced in Croatia. But it seems that the state intends to continue to manipulate this group, notably because of money to be invested in the return project (in all likelihood to be implemented by the state), that is funds obtained by reinstatement of tenancy rights. According to the Republican Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Sandra Raskovic-Ivic, donors have earmarked for local integration about $ 25 billion (Beta, 28 May 2001).

This year's census covered 470,000 expellees from Croatia and B&H and between 230,000-250,000 IDPs from Kosovo. The largest part of them are accommodated in Vojvodina, while the largest part of refugees, nearly 150,000 of them, live in Belgrade. According to Dr. Sandra Raskovic-Ivic, only 4%-7% of them opted for repatriation (Glas javnosti, 6 June 2001). Djordje Scepanovic, the Montenegrin Commissioner for Refugees, stated that in that republic there were only 15,000 refugees and 32,000 internally replaced persons, and that they made up 7% of the total population of Montenegro. According to Maki Shinohara, the UNHCR spokeswoman in Belgrade, in the FRY there are 390,000 expellees from B&H and Croatia. In comparison with the 1996 census, the number of refugees fell by 30%. She added that 5% of refugees opted for repatriation (Vjesnik, 8 June 2001).

Refugees from Kosovo are in a very difficult situation. They are accommodated Serbia-wide in inhabitable camps, abandoned houses, cellars, shanty-towns. They don"t" receive enough aid. Children of Kosovar Romany refugees don"t go to school. Currently they cannot go back to Kosovo.

Croatia, B&H and the FRY signed last year in Brussels an agreement designed to resolve the problems of over one million IDPs and refugees in the region. "A series of bilateral initiatives are intended to ensure resolution of problems of the remaining 490,000 refugees and 760,000 IDPs", reads the Stability Pact communique. Croatia, B&H and the FRY made commitments to help refugees who wanted to stay in their current places of residence (Vjesnik, 29 June 2001).

If the international community and other interested parties make concerted efforts to facilitate a proper repatriation, they should in parallel back the repatriation process by investing in the following measures: housing (repatriation and restitution of property) material existence (jobs, loans) and safety guarantees (this is not a salient problem, but sporadic harassment of returnees must be eliminated and sanctioned). Discouraging news in this regard is partial and insufficient humanitarian aid.


Problems related to repatriation to the Republic of Croatia

Department for Expellees, Returnees and Refugees of the Croatian Ministry for Public Works, Reconstruction and Construction, disclosed that 288,090 citizens returned to Croatia, either to their homes or alternate accommodation. Of that number 200,072 are Croats who have been internally displaced in other, conflict-free zones of Croatia. To date has been also registered the return of 80,000 Croat citizens of Serb nationality. The document of the aforementioned Department specifies that repatriation has decreased when likened to its more massive extent in 2000. The reason thereof is the following: potential returnees are in fact families whose houses have been totally destroyed, families awaiting restitution of their property or new accommodation, and a large number of elderly, sick and disabled (Agency STINA, 2001).

It is very difficult to assess the exact number of returnees. Different bodies and organisations release different figures. Petar Ladjevic, President Kostunica's adviser for refugees-related issues maintains that "in co-operation with the UNHCR and NGOs dealing with refugees issues, we have estimated that the figure of returnees to Croatia does not exceed 45,000" (Blic, 11 September 2001). President of SDF in Croatia, Veljko Dzakula estimates that of 350,000 Serb refugees only 50,000 to date returned to Croatia. That figure differs from the one released by the official Croatian bodies. According to Dzakula that disparity is due to the fact that the Croatian authorities register all returnees, but not those who leave Croatia anew (Tanjug, 21 September 2001). OCSE office in Croatia also contests the official Croatian (returnees) figure, for its representatives maintain that "there are still many obstacles to refugees' repatriation".

Representatives of Croatian authorities frequently appeal to refugees to return and become loyal citizens of their homeland. That gave them much hope, but circumstances of realisation of that return were quite discouraging. President Mesic spearheaded the pro-return campaign and he put across the following message: "we shall continue to create conditions for the return of all our citizens who in the past decade were expelled or displaced. By enabling their return and ensuring them a peaceful and dignified life in their homeland, we prove the maturity of our democracy and consolidate the democratic foundations of Croatia. The culprits may not go unpunished, regardless of their genuine or imagined credits, regardless of their past and present positions. And the innocent ones ought not to be discriminated on any basis nor stripped of any rights accorded to them under Constitution and Laws of the Republic of Croatia" (STINA). Although at play are political preconditions which have burdened Croatian-EU relations for years, government of the Republic of Croatia is yet to resolve the issue of repatriation, that is of legal regulations. What is needed is the repeal of legal provisions discriminating against refugees, that is their repatriation or restitution of their property. The fact that Croatia avoided to tackle the said issue prompted the OSCE to write a negative report, which was later backed by the US and EU (National, 2 August 2001). EU Annual Report on Human Rights (1 July 2000 -31 June 2001) was also critical of Croatia's human rights record, notably of a slow repatriation of refugees (Beta, 8 October 2001). Findings of poll conducted by "Target Agency" also indicated negative stance of Croats on repatriation of Serb refugees. 34% of respondents were against the said repatriation. Only respondents from conflict-free areas expressed the view that everyone has the right to return to his/her home (Blic, 3 September 2001).

Once refugees decide to go back, they often encounter the following problem: they cannot go back to their homes, and until they are accorded the right to move into their homes and houses they are offered accommodation in collective centres in the Republic of Croatia. Their property (to be restituted to the original owners, according to Lovre Pejkovic, the Croat Minister for Recovery and Construction, Blic, 13 September 2001) under decision of Croat authorities is currently used by Croat citizens from other parts of the country and refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the Action Plan of the Croat Government, the housing issue of Serb refugees from Croatia and of Croats from B&H who settled in Croatia after 1995, should be resolved by the end of the next year. Pejkovic warns of justified and unjustified resistance, eviction from the seized facilities. He also stressed that unlawful tenants shall be evicted for "Government's decisions must be respected" (STINA). Croatian authorities have not taken a uniform stand on the resolution of property issues. For example Public Prosecutor Ante Klaric accuses Croat government of having failed to take necessary measures for an accelerated restitution of Serb property in Krajina and stresses in his annual report submitted to the Croat Parliament that the issue of repatriation of Serbs is a key political, strategic and economic issue of Croatia. "The Republic of Croatia and its citizens may profit from the return of Serbs to emptied/cleansed areas", underlined Klaric (Vjesnik, 14 June 2001). Some international observers also stress that returnees face many problems, notably, that their property cannot be restituted to them until current tenants are not provided an alternate accommodation.. They also point out that "in Croatia private property is guaranteed under Constitution and pertinent property laws, although in practice this is not the case" (STINA). High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson warned Croatia to speed up repatriation of refugees and restitution of their property (TANJUG, 8 October 2001).

According to statements of returnees the current "reconstruction conditions" are not satisfactory. President of the Serbian National Council (SNC) Dr. Milorad Pupovac assessed as demagogic assertions of the aforementioned Croatian Ministry that "we are not reconstructing houses of Serbs and Croats, but houses of Croatian citizens". Pupovac maintains that only 10% of 20,000 destroyed houses were reconstructed, which means that that process could last another 10 years (STINA). President of SDF, Veljko Dzakula stressed that Croatia's participation in reconstruction of Serb houses is symbolic and that most reconstruction was effected with UNHCR, EC and Norwegian, German, Italian and US NGOs assistance.

Tenancy rights are a salient problem. Croatian authorities deny the refugees' right to return to their flats or buy them because they have not lived in them "for over 6 months". Although in November 2001 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia annulled that discriminating decision taken during the rule of the Croatian Democratic Community, representatives of pertinent authorities don"t intend to reinstate tenancy rights. According to Sanda Raskovic, Serbian High Commissioner for Refugees, provisions of that law are not binding on Croats, for in the Croatian Danube Area Serbs were evicted from flats slated for restitution to Croat owners. Croat officials, notably Prime Minister, Ivica Racan, energetically deny the possibility of reinstatement of tenancy rights to Serbs. Vice Prime Minister Zeljka Antunovic opposes reinstatement of tenancy rights to Serbs, and the possibility of effecting damage compensation to Serbs, for "they have voluntarily abandoned Croatia, and by leaving their apartments lost the right to return" (Blic, 19 November 2001). The Croat government committed itself to compel all competent ministries and other state institutions to restitute to all Serbs in Croatia (returnees and non-returnees) their property by 31 December 2002. That decision also covers reinstatement of tenancy rights, although it is not explicitly mentioned in conclusions of the Croat government. OSCE representatives and other international organisations continue to urge the Croatian government to urgently resolve that issue by passing legal provisions similar to the ones in place in B&H. In other words Serb refugees must be ensured equal rights to purchase of flats to which they had had tenancy rights before they left Croatia. OSCE's position is that tenancy rights, of which refugees were stripped, are a property matter, and should be treated as such in all cases of returnees. The issue of lost tenancy rights, is not only related to human rights, but also to repatriation. Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe in its Resolution 1223 adopted recommendations of governments to carry out comprehensive reforms of legal regime related to property issues, including the issue of tenancy rights in the whole territory of Croatia, and not only in areas funded by the state (STINA). Sandra Raskovic-Ivic maintains that representatives of Croat authorities avoid signing of trilateral agreements which, with assistance of European countries, would provide for repatriation of refugees. Ivic went on to note: "Tenancy rights are a major problem..there are 50,000 flats in Croatia whose previous users were Serb civilians or the YPA officers. In the meantime those flats were purchased and those purchases were duly registered. Croatia suggests that those flats be leased to refugees for a 10-year period. That idea in fact backs ethnic-cleansing, for it equalises tenancy right with ownership, and those who lost their flats must be compensated in a way" (Danas, 2 June 2001). According to SDF President Veljko Dzakula "between 35,000 and 50,000 Serb refugees count on restitution of tenancy rights" (Tanjug, 27 September 2001).

Over 50% of refugees are yet to resolve the issue of Croat citizenship, which in turn prevents them from exercising the right to return and the right to resolution of property issues in their homeland. Applications for travel documents, pensions, years of service, ownership, cannot be resolved without Croatian passports. Procedure of granting Croat citizenship, after regular application-submitting in RC consulates in the FRY, lasts longer than stipulated. Yugoslav authorities are not interested in returning citizens' books taken out of Croatia in the wake of offensives "Storm" and "Flash" to pertinent municipalities in Croatia.

A salient problem is still economic sustenance of returnees to Croatia. Foreign donations, loans and investments in infrastructure, agriculture, cattle-breeding and industry are needed.

A problem too are secret arrest warrants. The Hague Tribunal thinks that those warrants should be transparent, for all perpetrators of war crimes must be called to account, while innocent refugees should not be hostages to them. It is necessary to corroborate evidence against Serbs, war crimes suspects, and revise judgements in order to allay doubts that they were tried only because of their ethnicity. According to media coverage every month at least one returnee is arrested. This intimidates potential returnees. Their fear is compounded by incidents like the one in Orolik: a Croat in Orolik killed on a plot of land his fellow-local of Serb ethnicity because "at the time when the Hague Tribunal issued indictments against several Croat generals an old man was torched in Kistanje, near Knin". Then the Croat police on the basis of the aforementioned arrest warrants apprehended a Serb, Natasa Jankovic, a citizen of Republika Srpska, which after four months in custody, was released from Slavonska Pozega prison and all charges against her were dropped (RTV B92, 13 June 2001). According to "Veritas" Jankovic was one of 4,396 Serbs charged with war crimes by the Croat authorities. Of that total number, according to data released by the State Prosecutor, in May 2000, 554 persons were convicted (Blic, 3 February, 2001). 18 war crimes convicts in the Osijek District Prison, mostly Serbs, went on a hunger strike. In their letter to public at large they stated "the hunger-strike is our protest against discrimination of Serbs, secret indictments, trumped-up charges, framed trials, non-implementation of Erdut, Granic-Jovanovic and other agreements to which the Republic of Croatia committed itself". They also demanded talks with representatives of judicial bodies of Croatia, representatives of the Hague Tribunal in Zagreb, representatives of the Croat and international organisations for protection of human rights, and representatives of Serb institutions in Croatia (Politika, 5 June). Apprehended are also Serbs who could have been arrested much earlier. The Croat police arrested Zeljko Lozanovic and Desimir Lacanin from Branjina in Baranja. They are both suspected of having committed genocide during the war. Lozanovic, born in 1957, was apprehended in his house, while Lacanin (1965) was arrested in the Osijek hospital, to which he took his injured mother for treatment. Both of them since the end of war lived at the same addresses in Branjina and were accessible to police (Tanjug, 13 June 2001). Spokesman of the UN Mission for B&H regions of Banjaluka and Bihac Alun Roberts confirmed that the Croat police arrested Serbs, Dragan Jakovovic (41) from Glina and Ranko Kajganic (41) from Vrgin Most. Head of "Veritas" office in Banjaluka, Milorad Pribicevic, stated that Jakovovic in absence was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Sisak District Court tried in absentia Jakovovic for a war crime committed in village Maje, near Glina, on 18 August 1991, and found him guilty. According to Pribicevic Jakovovic went to Glina to see his house (Glas javnosti, 8 February 2001) Dragutin Sekljuca (70) was arrested in Podravska Slatina. Dragan Radjenovic was accused of alleged "maltreatment of POWs in the area of former Republika Srpska Krajina" and transferred to the Sisak prison. Dragutin Sekljuljica was accused of shelling "with members of the Serbian paramilitary forces" several villages in the vicinity of Podravska Slatina in September 1991 (Novosti, 24 February 2001).

In commenting arrests of Serb returnees, Petar Ladjevic, President Kostunica's adviser for refugees issues assessed that "the main hurdle to return of Serbs to Croatia is a poor security situation mirrored in frequent arrests of Serbs. The latter in Eastern Slavonia not only thwart repatriation, but also boost new "emigrations" of Serbs from those areas. According to Ladjevic's words "in Croatian prisons there are currently 86 Serbs, 51 of whom received final sentences. In the first three months of 2001 19 people were arrested. Most of them are innocent". Savo Strbac, President of Documentation-Information Centre of "Veritas" some time ago launched an initiative for forwarding convicts-related documents to the Hague Tribunal. He recently stated "the fact that the Hague Tribunal also refused to deal with those documents convinced me that most of them are innocent". International organisation for Arrestees and Missing suggested a probe into all cases of those convicts and also the release of innocent individuals. Ladjevic said that it was a good idea (Blic, 29 March 2001). President of the SNC Pupovac stated that the "way in which Serb war crime suspects in Croatia were tried discredits the idea, institute and sense of punishing war criminals". He added "Croatia has most convicts and indictees. Croatia's judiciary full serves the purpose of ethnic cleansing and retaliation". He furthermore accused Belgrade dailies "Politika ekspres" and "Ilustrovana Politika" which published a feature on lists of alleged indictees of "joining a special war whose goal is encouragement of further persecution and thwarting repatriation of Serbs" (Pravi odgovor, 11 July 2001). He stressed that he favoured revision of those all the aforementioned cases, that is both of convicts serving sentences , those sentenced in absentia, and indictees. "There are so many cases characterised by serious errors, that they should be also subjected to the Amnesty Act" (STINA).

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, in its annual report accused Croatia of "breaches of minority rights and inefficient judiciary. Returnees encounter difficulties in having their property restituted to them, and laws are enforced arbitrarily notably in cases of war crimes trials" (Blic, 5 December 2001).

The Hague Trial agreed to greenlight domestic trials (in Croatia) of some war crimes suspects. The District State Prosecutor in Rijeka filed indictment against retired Croat general Mirko Norac, former Secretary of the Crisis Headquarters for Lika, Tihomir Oreskovic, former military Commander in Perusic, Stjepan Grandic, and against Ivica Rozic and Milan Canac, suspected of committing crimes against civilians in Gospic. The District Court in Rijeka completed investigation against them. The communique signed by the Croat State Prosecutor Radovan Ortinski reads: "indictees are charged with having ordered killings of civilians and having personally committed some of those killings in 14-25 October 2001 period in the Gospic area. Then 24 unidentified and identified persons were killed. The indictees have committed crimes against humanity and civilian population (Novosti, 6 February) But even after 10 months they have not been brought to justice. Trials are delayed, and indictees demand exception of some judges. Such a farce calls into question efficiency of the Croat judiciary, and causes insecurity among and mistrust of the Serb community in Croatia".

Refugees are also alarmed by the news that after the issue of the official indictment against the Croat general Ante Gotovac, accused of war crimes against Serb civilians in the offensive "Storm" he was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Zadar and Split.

Repatriation is obstructed in different ways. Property of Serb returnees is mined, and they are shot at in isolated incidents. Unidentified group of men fired a barrage at the house of returnee Glisa Kolundzoca, in Kakma, near Zadar. At the last parliamentary elections Kolundzoca was an SDF candidate "It is assumed that he was attacked because of his activities related to reconstruction of houses of Serb returnees" (Vecernji list, 1 June 2001). In several instances farms of Serb returnees to Vojnica were mined. Such incidents alarmed local Serbs. "Six persons were killed, including a policemen engaged in investigation, and not a single case was solved. Due to continuing danger, reconstruction of 100 houses and electrification of Vojnica were suspended" (Tanjug, 27 October). Although those incidents were reduced, they still affect potential returnees and those who have returned to Croatia.


Refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H)

Refugees from B&H don"t face any problem regarding return documents, for they can travel to B&H with refugee IDs. Most massive return is still to Republika Srpska.

Returnees face the following problems: property restitution, insufficient economic revival in regions to which they are returning, slow reconstruction of their houses. When the competent bodies breach rights of returnees those cases are dealt with by the office of High Representative for B&H Wolfgang Petrich. But repatriation process is nonetheless obstructed.

The Brcko District is currently the most prosperous part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, primarily thanks to the international community efforts. The latter has bankrolled public spending, geared many investments to the area and put in place attractive legal solutions in this practically third B&H entity in which Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats cohabitate. The Brcko District could become an economic and political model for B&H. Its economic attractions are low taxes, incentives for foreign investors, close co-operation with both B&H entities and neighbouring countries. Its political attractions are equal representation of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats in administrative bodies. Practically, factually and legally there are no minorities in the District. Although this "ideal government and order" is yet to be fully implemented in Brcko, this district has gone the farthest in joint, trilateral management and co-operation.

But obstruction of repatriation is rife. Banjaluka bishop Dr. Franjo Komarica stresses that "both RS authorities and international officials are aware of the fact that in the 6 post-war years, of a total of 220,000 Croat refugees and IDPs from RS, only over 5,000 returned to their homes. He also maintained that "the Ministry for Refugees and IDPs of Republika Srpska protects provisional users of refugees' property" (STINA).

Alliance of Refugees and IDPs of B&H insists on adoption of a uniform repatriation strategy for 2002 at the state level in order to create preconditions for uniform enforcement of property laws, and to pave the way for elimination of the system of double users of property, and still present political barriers in the process of return. The Alliance stated it would adhere to those guidelines in 2002 in view of the fact that over 500,000 people are yet to be reinstated their property. It also indicated that "better co-ordination between entities is needed, that is, the state should handle all the pertinent problems" (STINA).

It is necessary to ensure funds for re-integration of returnees, for many of them when faced with poor job prospects opt for the sale or exchange of their property. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights thinks that that added to activities within B&H, it is necessary to adopt a regional strategy, that is to accelerate repatriation activities within the triangle B&H, Croatia and Yugoslavia.

In Croatia there are 22,019 (20,500 from B&H) refugees protected and funded by the Ministry for Public Works, Reconstruction and Construction. Majority of refugees are from the Serb entity in B&H. In Croatia there are at least 120,000 citizens of B&H who have lost their refugee status, having been granted in the meantime Croat citizenship and accommodation (Vjesnik, 8 April 2001).

Croatian Minister for Reconstruction and Construction Lovro Pejkovic disclosed that the government of the Republic of Croatia decided as early as in the spring of 2001, to allocate 20 million KUNA for purchase of building material intended for reconstruction of Croat refugees' houses in B&H in a bid to boost their repatriation. For example in the Sava river villages of Bunar and Modran, near Plehan, in the vicinity of Derventa 50 houses shall be revitalised. The project is also funded by the UNDP, through a Japanese government donation and Republika Srpska (STINA).

Since 1992 450,000 Croats from B&H came to Croatia. But, according to President of Community of Croat Settlers, Tomo Aracic, one third of them subsequently emigrated to European countries, Australia and Canada. He also stressed that Croats from B&H had adaptation and job problems in Croatia (Vjesnik, 16 July).

There is interest in repatriation to B&H. International community funded reconstruction of 150 houses of Serb returnees in municipality Dvor on Una. In Croatia, that is in Kostajnica, reconstruction project involving 30 houses is well under way. Earlier houses belonging to the 6th category of damage have nor been reconstructed. Priority is given to Serbs willing to leave houses of Muslims and Croats in B&H and return to their houses in Croatia (Info Pool, 4 July).

Tactic of delayed return to all entities of B&H is floundering, for the international community has run out of patience, that is, is no longer willing to put up with "the Balkans unlimited games". In those terms it should also neutralise all efforts of nationalists to maintain the untenable status quo. Unless repatriation and restitution of property are boosted, there shall be no economic prosperity and political stability in the pertinent areas of B&H and Croatia in the near future.


Refugees from Kosovo

Refugees from Kosovo still belong to the most vulnerable group. According to some estimates it is thought that some 230,000 people have been displaced from Kosovo.

A certain number of Kosovo refugees, mostly Romany, have not registered wit the official bodies. Hence they don"t receive humanitarian aid in kind. They are in the most difficult situation. Romany from Kosovo are mostly accommodated in shantytowns lacking the most elementary living conditions. They face a lot of problems: non-existence of social and medical care, their children don"t attend school regularly. The latter is caused by reluctance of Romany parents to send their children to school; they prefer to have them working odd jobs.

Poor economic situation is reflected on the status of refugees. Refugees accommodated in collective centres are in a real predicament. Likewise those staying with the host families, mostly relatives and friends. One can say that only a very small number of refugees have managed to create a decent life in the new environment. And they are mostly those who have managed to sell their property in Kosovo and purchase new house or flats in Serbia. And to that group belong many former key power-holders in Kosovo of Serb descent.

Refugees from Kosovo, like earlier ones from Croatia and Bosnia, are being instrumentalised by the Belgrade politicians, who are in this way trying to become key players in the resolution of the Kosovo crisis. There is a lot of manipulation regarding the process of return of refugees-after signing of the Haekkeroup-Covic Agreement and the Kosovo elections. Current authorities in Belgrade try to shift responsibility for the poor status of Serbs in Kosovo on the international community and Albanians, whereby they ignore the absence of propitious conditions for the implementation of the return plan. Representatives of the non-Albanian communities have legitimate representatives in the newly-established Kosovo Parliament. Although it is only realistic to assume that the problems of non-Albanian national communities in Kosovo, and notably problems of refugees-internally displaced persons from Kosovo should be tackled by the Kosovo institutions, the federal and republican authorities continue to publicly interpret the Haekkerup-Covic Agreement as if the issue of status of Kosovo has been resolved to the benefit of Serbia and Yugoslavia. But in fact Belgrade is doing its utmost to maintain the status quo and to provide for the division of Kosovo. That is why the attempt of the federal and republican authorities to present themselves as the only relevant factor in resolving the issues of displaced Kosovar Serbs and other non-Albanians is often contrary to their genuine interests.


Refugees-related legislation of the Republic of Croatia

Legal, sub-legal (administrative) provisions and acts of the Republic and Croatia, and judiciary and numerous administrative decisions frequently breach fundamental human rights of members of Serbs nationality, notably refugees-returnees to Croatia. Such violations are also intended to obstruct repatriation/return of Serb refugees to Croatia.


Tenancy rights

There are no precise data on number of refugees stripped of their tenancy rights in the Republic of Croatia. The most drastic figure was put forward by the OSCE at the "Seminar on Practical Implementation of the EU Convention on Human Rights by the Internal Property Law of the Republic of Croatia" held in Belgrade on 22-23 October 2001. In its "Special Report on Occupancy/Tenancy Rights in Croatia" presented to the seminar participants, OSCE estimated that between 50,000 and 60,000 holders of tenancy rights lost that right in the Republic of Croatia since 1991. That estimate was given to the OSCE by several NGOs, but their names were not mentioned in the report.

What can be certified is the fact that "20,000 individuals were stripped of tenancy rights" by judicial decisions taken in the Republic of Croatia, under the 1985 Law on Housing Relations (NN 51/85) which envisaged termination of contract on lease of flats in "case of non-occupancy of those flats by the tenancy right holders in the period of over 6 months". Proceedings were conducted in absence of defendants, although they were represented by special-case proxies in a bid to fully observe the procedure.

In passing judgements on termination of contracts on the flat occupancy, courts of law never investigated circumstances under which holders of tenancy rights left the flats in question, that is failed to take into consideration the fact that those holders had to leave their flats under threats of physical liquidation, pressure and intimidation.

To the group of 20,000 people who lost titles to their flats belong also individuals covered by the "Act on Amendments to the Housing Relations" which took force on 15 April 1992. Amendment (102 a) to article 102t lays down that: "judicial decisions shall strip of tenancy rights those persons who have taken part in hostile actions against the Republic of Croatia".

In 1995 the Republic of Croatia passed the Act on Lease of Flats in Liberated Territories. The Act took force on 21 September 1995. Under the said Act holder of tenancy right loses ex lege the occupancy right if he/she fails to use/occupy it for 90 days. As the aforementioned Act covered areas of former, so-called Republika Srpska Krajina, that is Sectors East and South, almost all holders of tenancy rights who have fled Croatia in the wake of operations "Storm" and "Flash" after 90 days ex lege lost their tenancy rights. Those flats were leased to other individuals, who after three years were entitled to purchase them. The aforementioned Act was repealed in 1998, that is less then three years before the posterior right could be claimed.

Former UNTAES was formally returned to the Croatian fold only on 15 January 1998. As the tenancy rights by then had been replaced by the right to lease the state-owned flats, under the Act on Lease of Flats effective as of 11 October 1996, the Republic of Croatia, through its Decree on Management of Flats in areas of special state interest (25 November 1999) practically preserved tenancy rights of all holders of those titles in the Danube area of Croatia. Those title holders, mostly Croats, fled during armed conflicts. Under the said Decrees they were reinstated their rights, while title holders beyond the said area, were simultaneously stripped to those rights.

Certain number of former title holders, whose occupancy contracts were terminated, are trying through an emergency legal remedy "Application of Renewal of Proceedings" to have the aforementioned judicial decisions reversed.


Restitution of property

Returnees, owners of flats and houses "temporarily occupied by other persons" file applications for restitution of their property to metropolitan/city and municipal housing commissions. Within 7 days from receiving such applications and presentation of ownership title-related documents, those commissions are duty bound to suspend decisions on temporary occupancy. New pertinent decisions must be submitted to flat or house owners and persons temporarily accommodated in them.. Moreover the Commission is also duty bound to notify the latter of eviction deadline and to offer him/her a corresponding alternate accommodation. If neither the commission nor the owner can provide an alternate accommodation, the former id duty bound to notify of the aforementioned the Commission for Implementation of IDS, Refugees and Expellees Accommodation Program.

If the Commission or the owner provide for alternate accommodation of a temporary tenant, and he/she does not leave the lodging within the deadline, the Commission may file an application for his/her eviction to a court of law within 7 days, and that court thereafter takes a summary and final decision.(1)

As very often neither the Commission nor the owner are in the position to provide for temporary accommodation of temporary tenants, it may take even several years to effect evictions.

Decree issued by the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, forwarded to all courts in the territory of the Republic of Croatia represents the most flagrant breach of the refugees property rights. Namely the Decree spells out that in cases of claims to ownership by lawful owners the Program of Repatriation and Accommodation of Refugees, IDPs and Expellees must be enforced as lex specialist, instead of the Act on Ownership and other Legal Matters of the Republic of Croatia. In this way refugees were in an unlawful way stripped of their right to active legitimisation, which they enjoy under Constitution as a measure of protection of their property. That right, in the most absurd way, was vested in (delegated to) the housing commissions under the Repatriation Program.

The next example should illustrate how the aforementioned provisions are implemented:

* B.S. citizen of the Republic of Croatia, from Donji Rajici, Vukovarska 103, Municipality Novska, with temporary residence in Donji Rajici, Vukovarska 88, after military operation "Flash" fled to village Korod in Podunavlje, and moved into the house of a Croat expellee. After re-integration of the Danube area, B.S. three times submitted his property (Donji Rajici) restitution claim. But he was not granted the refugee status as his house was temporarily occupied by a B&H refugee. B.S. is temporarily accommodated in the house of his neighbour.

He submitted his first property restitution claim on 3 March 1998 to the city of Novska Housing Commission. The said Commission decided that B.S. be restituted his property, a family house, while a temporary tenant was provided an alternate accommodation.

As that temporary tenant declined to move out, B.S. lodged a complaint to the Novska Municipal Court, and started proceedings for the sale of his house. His complaint was rejected on the following grounds: "B.S. is not authorised to file an eviction claim nor to institute proceedings for the sale of the disputed property". The court in question ruled that "special property take-over and eviction proceedings must be applied in case of the disputed property.namely only when temporary tenants are provided an alternate accommodation, the commission, and not the owner of property, may file an eviction claim and the one for restitution of owner's property".

B.S appealed against the Novska Municipal Court decision to the Sisak District Court on 15 September 1999. The court dismissed the appeal as "ungrounded" and confirmed the second-degree judgement. In its reasoned opinion in writing it stated that the first-instance court rightly enforced provisions of the Act on Property, and article 9 of the Program of Repatriation and Accommodation of IDPs, Refugees and Expellees.

B.S. has been waiting for three years now for restitution of his property.(2)


Compensatory damage

In 1991 and later in all areas of the Republic of Croatia, according to estimates of NGOs, several thousand Serb houses were mined.(3) In 1996 the Croatian Parliament amended Article 180 of the Act on Mandatory Relations, thus relieving the state of responsibility for consequences of terrorists acts which the state bodies were duty bound to prevent. This meant that the Republic of Croatia factually and legally liberated itself of compensatory damage obligation towards owners of the mined houses. Pursuant to the aforementioned amendments to Article 180 of the Act on Mandatory Relations, competent courts suspended all pending and ongoing compensatory damage proceedings. This was a flagrant breach of human rights of the aforementioned property owners, and also a move designed to further obstruct return of Serbs to Croatia. Once they have exhausted all domestic (Croat) legal recourses, the last legal remedy to which they can resort is institution of proceedings before the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg.

*A.K and V.K in 1944 filed compensatory damage claim with a Municipal Court in Zagreb (their family house in Bjelovar was totally destroyed in a mine explosion on 26 November 1991). The lawsuit ended after 7 long years, when in April 1998, that court suspended all the proceedings on the basis of amendments to article 180 of the 1996 Act on Mandatory Relations. In 1999 A.K and V.K filed a lawsuit against the Republic of Croatia before the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. Recently that Court ruled that the case was admissible, which means that the court shall deliberate it in due course.(4)

The fact that this case was taken on by the Strasbourg court is tantamount to a precedence. In fact it means that in the future all owners of destroyed property shall be able to seek legal protection from this court, if they cannot get it in the Republic of Croatia.


Reconstruction of property

On 15 March 1996 the Republic of Croatia passed the Law on Reconstruction, while the Acts on Amendments to the Law on Reconstruction were passed on 28 June 1996, 2 October 1996 and 1 June 2000 respectively. Procedure for Filing Reconstruction Claims ended on 31 December 2001. The right to reconstruction have all Croat citizens or holders of residence permits in 1991, who are owners, co-owners, and protected leaseholders of property destroyed in war. The aforementioned acts determine the procedure of implementing reconstruction process, bodies authorised to register those claims, deadline for passing decisions on the right to financial assistance in the process of reconstruction, deadline for filing appeals against the first-instance judgement, bodies authorised to pass decisions related to appeals. The Acts also include a provision on enforcement of provisions of the Act on General Administrative Procedure, unless the Law on Reconstruction determines otherwise. Thus conceived procedure enables administrative bodies to obstruct and delay in various ways reconstruction of destroyed property.

*B.V. from Pakrac, Ivana Gorana Kovacica street no. 10, since 12 February 1999, registered as a temporary resident of Pakrac, Matica Hrvatska 6/1, in the house of J.S. , citizen of the Republic of Croatia, possesses all documents of the Republic of Croatia, and also a FRY refugee ID.

B.V. turned to this office and asked us to forward the matter to the competent department of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. According to him his legal entanglement could showcase a series of problems which he and other expellees face in the exercise of their fundamental rights, in this concrete case, the right to restitution of property.

B.V. in Pakrac, in I.G. Kovacica owns a family house badly damaged in 1992. The established degree of damage is 6.

Because of armed conflicts B.V. and his family fled Pakrac and found refuge in the house of his sister-in-law in Daruvar. After re-integration of Podunavlje he moved to Ilok and registered himself there as a temporary resident. On 29 May 1997 he filed for the first time an application for return to Croatia and reconstruction of his family house. Competent authorities in Vukovar through the UNHCR informed B.V, that his application for reconstruction was accepted thanks to interest of some donors. With the Croat passport, in early 1999, B.V. visited his house and registered himself with the local police department. He renewed his reconstruction application in the Pakrac District Office and submitted all the required documents. Vexed by the competent bodies shilly-shallying he turned to the Serb Democratic Forum in Daruvar. But the latter could not help him.

In mid-2000 he lodged a complaint in writing to the Ministry for Public Works, Reconstruction and Construction. In its reply the Ministry informed him that he would get a judicial decision in writing. But when that decision did not materialise after six months he once again wrote to Ministry. When even that intervention went unanswered, B.V. wrote a letter to the Croat Prime Minister. On 13 December he was invited to come to the Prime Minister's Office. And finally on 10 April 2001 the Ministry for Public Works, Construction and Reconstruction allowed his appeal and ordered the Department for Town-Planning, Housing-Utilities Affairs, Construction and Environmental Protection of the Pozeska-Slavonska District to pass a decision on B.V.'s application within 15 days.

But the said decision did not live up to his expectations. The competent district office asked him to submit again all the required documents with paid taxes, as 6 months had lapsed from his first application, and also special statements and different evidence to be provided by the all the members of the family household. But when the District Office failed to take the decision within the aforementioned deadline, B.V. turned once again to Reconstruction Department. After that intervention the said Department on 10 July 2001 passed the decision on the reconstruction of B.V.'s family house (5th degree damage).

B.V.'s house is still in the same state it was when he first filed his reconstruction application on 29 May 1997.



On 26 September 1997 the Croatian Parliament passed a Validation Law. Its text was published in "Narodne novine" 104/97. A year later three provisions, published in NN 51/98, were passed:
Decree on enforcement of Law on Validation of Administrative Acts
Decree on enforcement of Law on Validation of Judicial Decisions
Decree on enforcement of Law on Validation of Provisions related to Labour, Employment, Pension, Disabled Insurance, Children's Allowances, Social Protection and Protection of Military and Civilians Disabled in War.

The first two provisions do not envisage any deadline for submitting validation requests. But the third one, that is, its article 5 envisaged a 12 month deadline (10 April 1998-10 April 1999) within which the interested parties were allowed to submit requests for validation of the acts covered by the aforementioned Decree to competent bodies.

A year long deadline, practically and factually disables a large number of refugees from the Republic of Croatia to exercise the right to validation, and consequently those from the spheres of labour, employment, pension and retirement insurance, children's allowance, social benefits and protection of Military and Civilians Disabled in War. Validation is related to documents and decisions under which those rights were exercised during the existence of the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina.

By April 1999 a small number of refugees returned to Croatia. Consequently competent bodies of the Republic of Croatia rejected every request for validation of a right regulated under the said Decree and submitted after 10 April 1999, for they were deemed "contradictory to article 5 of the said Decree".

*Z.M. a refugee from Miocic, whose house was totally destroyed, was not able to return with his family to Croatia until the year 2000. Her husband P.M. died in exile in 1996. After returning to Croatia Z.M. on 20 September 2000 submitted to the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (Sibenik office) an application for validation of years of service of her late husband. That body on 12 December 2001 rejected her application (decision No.: 341-19-03/1-01-19078) on the following grounds: "it is in contradiction with Article 5 of the aforementioned Decree, that is, was submitted after the deadline of 10 April 1999".

Z.M. appealed against that decision to the Zagreb office of the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance. The appeal is pending.(6)



The Republic of Croatia in December 2001 ratified the Contract on Social Insurance with the FRY.

In December HC was contacted by several individuals who after having acquired in Croatia the right to pension and having received their pensions for several months, were stripped of that right with justification that "the competent authorities in Croatia established that they had "bought" the rest of their years in service in the FRY, and that the Contract on Social Insurance between the two states was not ratified".

Payment of pensions is suspended if a retiree has not submitted evidence on residence in Croatia, although the Law on Pension Insurance originally did not foresee that condition for attaining the right to pension. In fact the Decree on enforcement of Law on Validation (1998) set a residence permit as an additional condition for acquiring the right to pension.

*G.G. from Beli Manastir, citizen of the Republic of Croatia, has all the Croatian documents and the FRY expellee ID, in which his residence in Subotica is registered.

G.G on 1 July 1997 received a temporary decision on pension. On 2 November 1999 the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (the Osijek branch office) suspended a procedure for payment of the aforementioned pension, because of G.G's failure to submit his certificate of residence.

G.G. appealed against this first-degree decision. On 19 June the second-instance body dismissed his appeal on grounds of "non-possession of residence permit on the territory of the Republic of Croatia", that is, failure to meet conditions laid down by the Decree on enforcement of the Act on Validation. Under the Act on Pension Insurance, possession of residence permit is not a condition for recognition of right to pension. Added to that Decree on enforcement of Act on Validation cannot have a retroactive effect, for it was published in "Narodne Novine" no.51/98 after G.G. had submitted his pension claim (in other words this provision was not in place on 1 July 1997). That is why G.G. on 6 July 2000 timely filed his lawsuit with the Administrative Court of Croatia, but the case is still pending.(7)

*Most absurd case of suspended payment of pension is the probably the one of S.D.

S.D. from Dalj and her two underage children on 18 March received decision (no. Mo351716) of the Republican Fund for Pension Insurance, the Osijek branch office, on recognition of their right to family pension, following the death of husband and father, S.D.

The Croatian Fund for Pension Insurance, central office in Zagreb, suspended that decision by its own judgement no. 341-99-03/1-01/003961, on 20 March 2001. The reasoned opinion in writing reads: "criminal proceedings against the late S.D., a husband and father are still pending. "This is one of the absurdities of the Croatian judiciary, namely to be conducting posthumous proceedings".(8)

S.D. has filed an appeal against the competent court, and the latter's judgement is pending.


Other forms of administrative obstructions

A certain umber of refugees from the Republic of Croatia turned for assistance to our offices. Many of them complained of different administrative obstructions in which the competent Croat bodies engaged. Most complaints were related to inefficient procedure for acquiring the status rights and hindered issue of personal documents through authorised persons.

*K.N., a refugee from Glina, submitted application for determination of his Croat citizenship under article 10 of the Act on the Croat Citizenship. On 28 10 1998 the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Croatia rejected K.N.'s request (decision no. 511-01.42-UP/I-6350).

Under article 10 of the aforementioned Act preconditions for acquiring the Croat citizenship are the following: a spouse must have the Croat citizenship, applicant must be approved residence in Croatia, and applicant must meet requirements of article 8, paragraph 1, point 5, of the Act on Movement and Stay of Foreigners, that is, must be a resident of the Republic of Croatia for at least 5 years. As the Act on Croat Citizenship was passed on 8 October 1991, the competent body which had taken the aforementioned decision determined that it was an irrefutable fact that K.N. enjoyed the status of a foreign permanent resident on 8 October 1991, but had lost it upon leaving Croatia in 1995.

The competent body abides by article 47, point 1, paragraph 1 of the Act on Movement and Stay of Foreigners in the Republic of Croatia, under which any foreigner loses his resident status if he/she emigrates or stays abroad for a period over one year.

In assessing this case the competent body failed to take into consideration the fact that K.N. on 5 August 1995, under compulsion had to leave Croatia, that on 20 August 1995 he officially acquired the refugee status, that international legal documents, which Croatia should respect and enforce, envisage that the refugee status may never change the domicile status of a person, because change of residence is caused by external, transparent and forcible circumstances, and not by the will and decision of a person compelled to flee.

On 23 December 1998 K.N. filed an administrative lawsuit against a competent court in the Republic of Croatia, but three years on, his case is still pending.(9)

The following examples indicate obstructive measures taken by administrative bodies in procedure of issue of personal documents.

The Pozega administrative office refused to issue birth and citizenship certificate to an authorised person with a regular power of attorney. Justification for this refusal was the following: "documents may be issued exclusively at the personal request of applicant". When the authorised person notified the local clerks that his client was in exile, and that without the citizenship certificate his client could not get a travel document enabling him to enter Croatia, local clerks said that it was not their problem.(10)

One of the most extreme examples of administrative obstruction is related to the case of P.K., a refugee from Petrinje. He authorised his sister to take a copy of his high school diploma in Petrinja. But the school refused to give her that copy with the excuse that "a person requesting a copy of diploma MUST HAVE PROOF OF CROAT CITIZENSHIP".



Expropriation and limitation of the Right to Property

The Republic Croatia in 1994 passed the Law on Expropriation and Limitation of the Right to Property which gave broad powers, even expropriation powers to administrative bodies, that is, to district departments for property-legal affairs. In other words they were empowered to expropriate or limit the right to property, which is a fundamental right of the system of civil law.

The Law envisaged that "the competent district authorities pass decisions on expropriation at the proposal of a municipal body in whose territory that property is". That decision also includes the range of compensation for expropriated property. The second-instance bodies are the Education Ministry, the administrative and local self-rule bodies. A plaintiff may appeal against the decision of the second-instance body to the Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia.

The said Law thus enabled administrative bodies and local officials to engage in misuses of their powers and consequently to violate one of the fundamental human rights.

The following example shall indicate motives which guided the Initiative Committee of Municipality of Vrgin Most in taking the decision on expropriation of a land allotment 2551/26, pasture Rozin Jarak, in municipality Pjescanica, of 1 ha, 10 acres and 78 m2, property of J.Lj, a refugee from Vrgin Most.

Here are the reasons for expropriation of the aforementioned allotment as quoted in a letter to the Administrative Office of the Sisak-Moslovica District by the Initiative Committee of the Vrgin Most municipality.

"In view of the ongoing settlement of the Croat citizens of the Roman-Catholic denomination in the territory of the municipality of Vrgin Most, the need arose to build a cemetery for citizens of the Roman Catholic denomination.

The Initiative Committee scouted the most suitable localities and decided to propose to you a locality in the vicinity of a previously approved one. That locality IS BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES of town-planning blueprint of Vrgin Most, in Rozin Jarak. Its owner is J.Lj, from Vrgin Most, a widow of R. from Vrgin Most, Nova Cesta 16.


On 19 January 2001 Department for Property-Legal Affairs of the Sisak-Moslovica District passed decision no. 2176-05-01-01-03-NM approving expropriation of the allotment in question, property of J. Lj, and also determined compensation far below the market value of the land plot.

The Constitutional Court of Croatia on 8 November 2000 suspended articles 22, 25, points 7 and article 36, paragraph 3 of the Act on Expropriation and Limitation of the Right to Property, relating to procedure and bodies authorised to take expropriation decisions. Those provisions ceased to be effective as of 31 December 2001.


Physical harassment of returnees

Last year sporadic incidents of physical and verbal harassment of returnees were reported. Helsinki Committee was notified of a brutal beating up of an 82-year man, a returnee to Knin.

*82- year old B.M. returned to Croatia in early May 2001. His family house in Knin used to be occupied by a 50-year old V.D, who left the house several months before B.M.'s return. As the house was empty, B.M was restituted his property by the Knin housing commission. But on 23 May 2001, when he tried to enter his house at 17.30 p.m., V.D. physically assaulted the old men and broke his hip. B.M. was thereafter taken to Intensive Care Unit of the Knin hospital. The Knin police charged V.D, with the criminal offence of inflicting grievous bodily injuries to B.M.



1 Point 9 "Procedure of Return" of the Program for the Return and Accommodation of Expellees, Refugees and IDPs, 26 June 1998.

2 Case of the Novi Sad office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

3 Article penned by Boris Raseta and ran by "Feral Tribune" on 15 December 2001 under headline "Too Many Destroyers".

4 Idem

5 Case of the Novi Sad office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.

6 Case of the Novi Sad office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

7 Case of the Subotica office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

8 Case of the Belgrade office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

9 Case of the Belgrade office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

10 Case of the Belgrade office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

11 Case of the Belgrade office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

12 Letter of the Initiative Committee of the Vrgin Most municipality of 28 September 1995, no. 2176/20-95-0113 Case of the Belgrade office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia





PAGE ::: 1










Copyright * Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia - 2008

Web Design * Eksperiment