Nachrichten aus Serbien
Erstellt von DZEKO, 29.08.2013, 16:43 Uhr · 7.579 Antworten · 275.442 Aufrufe
Das habe ich mich nämlich gefragt, was nützt so eine unilaterale Kiste wenn man die Auslieferung des Beschuldigten nicht durchsetzen kann, und ohne Angeklagten vor Gericht ist das Verfahren doch irgendwo auch fraglich. Könnten sie z.B. Interpol mit der Varhaftung beauftragen?
Zitat von Izdajnik
Mir ist die Tragweite dieses Gesetzes nicht klar.
Ich denke mal, dass ihnen das Gesetz einfach so oder so auf die Eier geht. Ich glaube für in der EU gibts auch Gesetze zur Amtshilfe etc. Wird sicher irgend ein kluger Journalist für uns erklären
Zitat von BlackJack
Serbian Ministries Block Public Access to War Files
The Serbian army and police are systematically obstructing public access to information that could expose their officers’ involvement in wrongdoing during the 1990s wars, according to journalists and researchers.
- See more at: Serbian Ministries Block Public Access to War Files :: Balkan Insight
“State secret.” “Strictly confidential.” “We don’t have that information.” “You need to provide more details.”
These are the four most common answers human rights researchers get from the Serbian interior and defence ministries when requesting documents that are related to the engagement of Belgrade’s forces in any of the conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Kosovo in the 1990s.
Serbia is part of international conventions regulating freedom of expression and free access to information, which should allow the public to find out the truth about what happened in a period marked by large-scale human rights violations.
But Serbian institutions regularly find ways to obstruct the country’s law on freedom of information and prevent public access to documents potentially revealing the role of the army or the police in the Balkan wars.
Experts argue that although these are highly sensitive state documents, most of the decisions made by Serbian ministries when asked for information are based on arbitrary interpretations of the laws.
In most cases, even when ordered to disclose the documents, the ministries do not obey decisions made by the country’s Commissioner for Information and Public Importance and Personal Data Protection.
According to a new report entitled State Secrets Prevail over the Right to the Truth, published on Tuesday by the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre, these documents were not just denied to researchers and NGOs, but also to the government bodies responsible for prosecuting war crimes.
Covering up a cover-up?
During the two-year-long investigation for BIRN’s documentary The Unidentified, which revealed the identities of the commanders responsible for some of the most brutal attacks of the Kosovo war and the subsequent cover-up operation aimed at hiding the victims’ bodies, almost all state institutions declined to provide information and documents, citing various reasons.
|Police units in the Serbian capital Belgrade. Photo: BIRN.
BIRN could only obtain the Serbian indictment charging 11 former Yugoslav Army troops with attacking four Kosovo villages through the Freedom of Information Law.
Serbia’s Higher Court on several occasions refused to send the verdict in the case, claiming that “this may endanger, obstruct or impede the trial”.
BIRN filed complaints and despite several orders from the Office of the Commissioner for Information and Public Importance and Personal Data Protection to provide the verdict, as it was information of public importance, the court didn’t act on the decision.
Unlike the Higher Court, which argued that it could not provide the data because it might endanger the trial, other Serbian institutions, such as the interior ministry, argued that they didn’t have the information that was requested.
BIRN journalists were trying to reveal the names of the commanders of the Special Police Units, PJP, as many witnesses, both victims and fighters, claimed it was involved in the crimes and the removal of the bodies of Kosovo Albanians to Serbia during the attempted cover-up.
The PJP unit was not a paramilitary unit, and since it was set up in the 1990s, has been under the official command of the interior ministry. However, at numerous trials before Serbian and international courts, its alleged commanders have denied they had control over the unit.
BIRN asked the interior ministry who the commanders of the PJP were from January 1998 until 2000, but in a response in September 2014, the ministry said it didn’t have that information.
In relation to the same events, BIRN journalists also asked the interior ministry who was the head of the Batajnica 13 May police training centre in Belgrade, where the bodies of around 700 Kosovo Albanians were ultimately found.
In its response in October 2014, the ministry said it didn’t have a document containing that information.
This kind of obstruction by the interior ministry is not an isolated case, however.
During the four-year trial of 11 Serbian fighters charged with committing crimes around the town of Pec/Peja during the Kosovo conflict, the key evidence linking the men on trial to their commanders was the war logbook of the 177th Yugoslav Army unit.
The diary was provided to the court by the prosecution and Serbian Security Agency from army records. However, when BIRN requested the document from the defence ministry, it replied that the ministry “doesn’t have the war log” and insisted that it had no information that this unit “had a war log”.
The ministry further argued that the log that the court was using was “a notebook” that could not be considered an official document despite the fact that it had an official stamp and a signature.
The Office of the Commissioner for Information and Public Importance and Personal Data Protection ordered the ministry on several occasions, after a request from BIRN, to provide the logbook because it does constitute an official document, but so far the ministry has not done so.
Requests from human rights researchers interested in the wartime role of the Serbian army and police have been ignored in the same way, according to the new report published by the Humanitarian Law Centre.
|Sandra Orlovic, head of the Humanitarian Law Centre. Photo: Media Centre.
Sandra Orlovic, the director of the Humanitarian Law Centre, HLC, said the report was based on a several years’ experience of documenting war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.
“We wanted to draw attention to the systematic obstruction by state institutions to providing documents, and [how] their obstruction can further block the prosecution of war crimes,” Orlovic said.
Orlovic said that these institutions are obliged to respect international resolutions that Serbia has signed up to, but also domestic laws.
“The defence ministry and the interior ministry are blatantly violating their legal obligations by arbitrarily interpreting the law and deciding on whether to provide access,” Orlovic said.
According to the report, the HLC has filed around 300 requests to the police and the vast majority of these were denied with the explanation that they didn’t have the information in their possession or that they needed more details.
As with BIRN, requests for any information related to Special Police Units was denied with the explanation that they “do not hold the information requested”, the report says.
Some 100 requests were filed to the defence ministry and in most cases, the HLC got responses saying that it was a secret, citing personal data protection or insisting that the ministry did not have the information.
“Particularly alarming are examples of misuse of data secrecy rules that can be found in MoD decisions to keep the entire archives of some Yugoslav Army units out of public view,” the report says.
In 2014, the ministry issued a decision to classify the entire archives related to the 125th and 37th Motorised Brigades of the Yugoslav Army as top secret. The commanders of these units, including current Serbian Army HQ chief Ljubisa Dikovic, have previously been accused of responsibility for war crimes in Kosovo, and they are currently being investigated by the Serbian war crimes prosecution.
The decision to declare these archives state secrets, according to Orlovic, came right after the HLC started sending requests about the involvement of Dikovic in the Kosovo war.
The experience of the HLC shows that these institutions refuse to provide information about involvement of their units in the 1990s wars - information which could prove who was responsible for wartime crimes and help to locate some of the remaining missing persons, of which there are currently 10,860 in the Balkans.
“The archives of the defence ministry and interior ministry have data which could help to determine the facts about the events of the 1990s. Without these documents, there are no war crime trials and there is no finding of the missing. The mass grave in Batajnica was actually discovered thanks to these documents,” Orlovic said.
No inspections allowed
In most of these cases, the Office of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection ordered the institutions to provide the requested data, saying they were not interpreting the law correctly.
|Wartime documents have also been refused to the Serbian war crime prosecution office. Photo: BETA.
In its latest annual report, it said that “it should be particularly emphasised that the authorities increasingly claim they do not hold the information requested and that such claims as a rule are neither substantiated nor supported by the evidence”.
The Serbian commissioner for information of public importance and personal data protection, Rodoljub Sabic, says however that his office has limited resources and sometimes doesn’t have the necessary mechanisms to take action.
“In some cases in which a certain institution claims they don’t have certain data, and we raise doubts about these claims, we don’t have the authority to inspect, so an actual check if some document exists or does not exist cannot be done by my office,” Sabic said.
In many cases, Sabic’s office fined institutions that refused to disclose documents. Beyond that, activists can take their complaints to the administrative courts, while some organisations like the Youth Initiative for Human Rights have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which said that the State Security Agency should disclose the data as requested.
In 2015, Sabic’s office dealt with around 9,000 freedom of information cases, of which 3,764 were complaints about not being provided with data by Serbian institutions.
His office classified 3,227 of them as justified - almost all of them concerning requests being ignored by state institutions or access to data being denied.
Despite orders from his office to provide data, many institutions refused to obey and were fined. As a result, some 3,000,000 dinars (around 25,000 euros) in fines were paid, with an additional 1,000,000 dinars (around 8,200 euros) still outstanding.
New law, same old problems?
Sasa Djordjevic from the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy NGO says that the Serbian security sector might be transparent on paper, but when it comes to actually revealing data, there have been constant problems.
|Sasa Djordjevic, researcher from the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy. Photo: Media Centre.
“Public interest and transparency were pledged in the newly-adopted law on the police from January 2016. The new law should encourage public access to the archives related to the mass violation of the human rights during the 1990s wars,” Djordjevic said.
“However, it is difficult to expect that the interior ministry will be efficient in this sensitive area, especially when investigating crimes committed by the police, if some other things that are easier [to reveal] were not made public,” Djordjevic said.
He cited the example of the interior ministry website, which is not regularly updated and does not contain any information about its annual reports or about different police departments and their commanders.
Finding information about specific police personnel appears to be one of the most difficult tasks for human rights researchers. Almost all the requests filed by the HLC and BIRN about the current or past positions of certain police officers potentially involved in war crimes were denied because the police requested a personal ID number to identify them, despite the fact that enough information was provided to indicate who the officer was.
While BIRN was investigating the removal of victims’ bodies from Kosovo to Serbia, some of the documents about the transportation of the corpses were signed by police official Slobodan Borisavljevic.
Borisavljevic now works for the interior ministry and has never been investigated over the cover-up.
BIRN was trying to find out his current position at the ministry, but despite providing his date of birth and address, the ministry denied the request, saying that revealing his identity would “endanger [his] right to privacy and reputation”.
A cause of further problems is that a lot of soldiers and policemen who could have been involved in war crimes still work in the police. HLC data shows that around 10 per cent of people charged with war crimes were currently working for the state security apparatus.
Many international organisations have warned that many suspected war criminals are still active as army and police officers, including some who work in the police witness protection unit, and are preventing further investigation of war crimes.
According to Djordjevic, security checks on interior ministry employees’ pasts are only carried out when they are hired. Although it is mandatory to check if someone was involved in a war, most of the ministries claim that they don’t have that data.
Responding to BIRN from July 2015, the witness protection unit said that it doesn’t have any information about whether any of its employees took part in any conflict, although some of its staff have openly talked about their involvement in conflicts in the 1990s.
The defence, justice, interior and foreign ministries meanwhile told BIRN last year that they have no information if any of their staff was part of the Special Police Unit, many of whose many members were either alleged to have committed war crimes and murders or have been convicted of doing so.
According to Djordjevic, the new police law might change things.
“The new law envisages that security checks will be conducted more often every five or two years, depending on the position. And it is envisaged that this will be done by an independent body,” Djordjevic said.
Until Serbia starts implementing its own laws to ensure security checks and allow freedom of information, human rights researchers will have to continue to turn to the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, with its unique database of court records and army and police documents from the 1990s wars.
In the meantime, they are likely to continue to get the same frustrating response to requests for information intended to shed further light on what really happened inside Serbian state institutions during the conflicts: “We don’t have that information.”
- See more at: Serbian Ministries Block Public Access to War Files :: Balkan Insight
hahhahaha willst du mich verarschen, ich les doch das alles jetzt nicht, dann auch noch in englisch, sooo wichtig ist mir das nun auch nicht
Und dann auch noch "see more"
Serbien will einfach weiter die Opfer verhönen.
Dafür haben sie jetzt Seselj am Hals
Zitat von DZEKO
Das ist für die nix neues.....Schließlich regieren seine Eliteschüler das Land schon länger
Zitat von BlackJack
Der wird noch Präsident oder so.
Zitat von BlackJack
war auch ein neues Thema
Zitat von BlackJack
Wenn du wüsstest was er von seinen "Elite-Schüler"-Duo hält
Zitat von Cobra
Der ist doch King.
Zitat von BlackJack
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