Call for Verification of Allegations on Responsibility of Diković for War Crimes
Published on 22nd February 2012
Civil Society Organizations call upon the Office of the Prosecutor for war crimes to check the charges of the Humanitarian Law Centre related to the possible responsibility of chief of Staff of the Serbian Army LjubišaDiković for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Kosovo.
From the time when the Fund publicly disclosed information about Diković, the competent institutions and Defence Minister DraganŠutanovac tried to defend the newly appointed Chief of Staff and to attack organizations that fight for human rights instead of conducting a proper investigation into all allegations made by the Humanitarian Law Centre.
The Centre did neither mention an indictment nor a verdict in its documents, but has presented information that is publicly available and that requires judicial examination by the competent institutions. Any decision by these institutions, including the possible finding of guilt of any individual is not nor could it be interpreted as an attack to the state and its institutions. Moreover, a thorough investigation and a decision based on facts would lead to the strengthening of state institutions and the rule of law in Serbia.
Defence Minister DraganŠutanovac’s statement, comparing human rights defenders with extremist organizations such as “Obraz” and “SNP 1389”, is dangerous from the perspective of human rights and the rule of law in Serbia, just as are his statements made during interviews given to “Peščanik”, in whick he said that “these things should not be disclosed” and that “this government is cleared of war crimes upon completing its cooperation with the Tribunal”.
Organizations for the protection of Human Rights strongly support raising the issue of war crimes committed in Kosovo to public awareness and invite Minister Šutanovac to support the disclosure of facts that may reveal the truth about war crimes and encourage the prosecution of responsible individuals.
Finally, we wish to emphasize that it is in the best interest of the public that all allegations of liability of all persons appointed to such position of responsibility be investigated, and that the discussion on these appointments reach the government, which bear responsibility to the people.
Press release issued by:
Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms
Youth Initiative for Human Rights
Independent Journalist’s Association of Vojvodina
Civil Rights Defenders
Centre for Advanced Legal Studies
Lesbian Human Rights Labris
Kris – Network Committee for Human Rights
Women in Black
Regional Centre for Minorities
The House for Human Rights and Democracy is composed of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, Civil Initiatives, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for practical policies, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM).