DUTCH COURT DISMISSES SREBRENICA CASE AGAINST NETHERLANDS
“One could not have expected a different verdict, because we are dealing with the state, which doesn’t want to accept its responsibility." - Munira Subasic.
PHOTO: Relatives Mehida Mustafic-Majic, sitting left, her daughter Alma, center, and her son Damir, right, leave the court after the verdict at the District Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008.
The lawsuit against the Netherlands was brought by Hasan Nuhanovic and the family of Rizo Mustafic. Nuhanovic is a survivor of Srebrenica genocide who lost his mother, father and brother in the massacre. Mustafic, who worked as an electrician in the U.N. force's Dutch battalion (Dutchbat), also died during the Srebrenica genocide. The plaintiffs claimed that both the UN and the Dutch troops failed to take effective action to prevent the massacre, thus violating the UN Convention on genocide.
In June, the Dutch court also rejected another lawsuit brought forward by the association Mothers of Srebrenica, which sought to sue the UN for damages for having failed to protect local civilians and to prevent the massacre.
PHOTO: Hasan Nuhanovic talks to the media after the judgement at the District Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008.
The president of the Mothers of Srebrenica association, Munira Subasic, who lost 22 members of her family in the massacres said that “One could not have expected a different verdict, because we are dealing with the state, which doesn’t want to accept its responsibility.”
“Many Dutch soldiers became mentally ill after their Srebrenica mandate where they witnessed mass slaughter and killings,” Subasic said. “It is also known that the Netherlands was sued by its own soldiers,” she added.
"None of the points we presented as evidence to the court over the last six years has been accepted. They have all been rejected. This is a total denial of all accusations presented by the two families," said Hasan Nuhanovic.
"I have repeated thousands of times that I am not here to blame Dutchbat for their passivity," Nuhanovic said. "I am accusing them of being active - in violation of the human rights of my family and other refugees. I noticed the judge read several times the sentence 'under the UN flag'. They referred to the flag under which these Duchbat actions were conducted. However, these actions were conducted under the flag of the Netherlands as well."
Hasan Nuhanovic said that he feels betrayed by the Dutchbat, "I have been betrayed so many times before by people in my life. The moment I was betrayed was 13 years ago was when I was working with Dutch battalion soldiers, UN officials who knew me and my family personally, they sent my family out to die."