IHF: War Crimes Must Be Addressed in Serbia

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Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 19:53:30 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: IHF: War Crimes Must Be Addressed in Serbia

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: International Helsinki Federation <office@ihf-hr.org>

IHF: War Crimes Must Be Addressed in Serbia

War Crimes Issue Must Be Addressed in Serbia
A "wall of silence" in the political campaign
Belgrade and Vienna, 12 September 2000.  The International Helsinki
Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and the Helsinki Committee for Human
Rights in Serbia are concerned that none of the political factions
engaged in the current campaign in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
are addressing the issue of war crimes that have allegedly been
committed by FRY forces in Kosovo.

Serbian human rights defender Natasha Kandic, Director of the
Humanitarian Law Centre, has raised the issue in a statement to the
Yugoslav Army, in which she said that war crimes had been committed. 
Although the Humanitarian Law Centre offered evidence to support these
claims, the government has not initiated an investigation.
We believe that the enjoyment of full human rights by the citizens of
FRY and indeed the normalization of international relations depends on
accepting a process through which justice is done to the victims of
state terror.
But the current political dialogue does not include voices calling for
an objective assessment of Serbia's recent past including its military
actions in Kosovo and elsewhere in the region, and none of the
political candidates are on record as favoring cooperation with the
International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague.
"A wall of silence surrounds the issue of war crimes and in fact all
human rights problems in FRY," according to Sonja Biserko, the
Chairperson of the Serbian Committee of the IHF.
"Candidates should deal with the crimes against our neighbors and our
own citizens, which have been committed in the name of the Serbian
nation," she said.
For more information:
Aaron Rhodes, IHF Executive Director, 43-1-408-8822
Sonja Biserko, Serbian Helsinki Committee, 43-1-408-8822
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Wickenburggasse 14/7
A-1080 Vienna
Tel. +43-1-408 88 22
Fax: +43-1-408 88 22 ext. 50

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