Srebrenica: sotto accusa lo stato olandese per l’eccidio del 1995

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Luigi Milani riprende un articolo che ne parla. Ma per leggerne direttamente si può fare riferimento al blog balcanico Srebrenica Genocide che, creato dall’organizzazione Bosnian Family (Bosfam), per presentarsi scrive di “non riportare alcuna opinione, ma fatti giudiziari appurati per la prima volta dal tribunale penale internazionale per l’ex-Jugoslavia e successivamente dalla corte internazionale di giustizia”.

I fatti a cui si riferisce riguardano l’eccidio di Srebrenica quando, nel luglio 1995, migliaia di vittime bosniache di religione musulmana (oltre ottomila dicono le fonti ufficiali, almeno diecimila sostengono le associazioni dei familiari delle vittime) vennero trucidate dalle truppe serbo-bosniache di Ratko Mladic. Il procedimento giudiziario a cui il post di cui sopra si riferisce è quello che si sta celebrando alla corte dell’Aja contro i presunti complici dei criminali di guerra balcanici. Tra gli imputati ci sono le Nazioni Unite e il governo olandese, colpevoli – secondo l’accusa – di non aver protetto per negligenza l’enclave musulmana. Non l’avrebbero fatto perché quella gente non aveva diritto a una protezione speciale, i militari stavano lì con scopi di pace e non di guerra né le truppe erano sufficientemente addestrate, si difende l’Olanda. Ma Hasan Nuhanovic, sopravvissuto al massacro e ai tempi interprete per gli effettivi ONU, e altri familiari stanno però raccontando una realtà differente.

4 thoughts on “Srebrenica: sotto accusa lo stato olandese per l’eccidio del 1995

  1. Owen

    Hello Antonella

    Thanks very much for posting your report. My apologies for not commenting in Italian, I’m afraid my Italian is very rudimentary.

    I hope you won’t mind if I make a couple of corrections. The cases being brought by Hasan Nuhanovic and the Mustafic family are civil actions in the District Court (Rechtbank) in The Hague, not at the International Criminal Tribunal. The problem is that the ICTY doesn’t provide a means for Hasan Nuhanovic and the Mustafics to hold the Dutch government to account for the way it handed over Hasan’s father, mother and brother and Rizo Mustafic (along with 5000 other refugees inside the UNPROFOR compound) to Ratko Mladic (the Dutch also failed to protect the other refugees to whom they refused entry).

    The Nuhanovic/Mustafic case is against the Dutch Government, who it is alleged side-stepped the UN chain of command in the way they behaved towards Hasan Nuhanovic’s and the Mustafic family’s relatives. However you are correct in including the UN as one of the respondents in the much larger civil action being brought by the Mothers of Srebrenica.

    Also Srebrenica Genocide Blog was created and is maintained by an individual, the indefatigable Daniel Zeljkovic. He tries to promote the quilting project by which Bosfam are commemorating the names of individual victims of the genocidal massacre.

    Thanks very much for your support.

  2. Owen

    Sorry, I should have said “against the Dutch State”, rather than “against the Dutch Government”.

  3. Owen

    Ciao Antonella

    Settembre 9, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    I hope you don’t mind me adding this post (scusi
    il texto nel inglese!)

    Tomorrow judgment is being given in the civil court actions being brought by Hasan Nuhanovic and the Mustafic family against the Dutch State for failure to protect their relatives who were killed at Srebrenica, in the District Court at The Hague, tomorrow morning Wednesday 10 September.

    I hope you don’t mind me copying a press release from GfbV Goettingen who will be conducting a vigil outside the court:


    The Hague / Göttingen, 10 September 2008

    Decision due on 10.9.2008 at The Hague in first civil court action brought by Srebrenica survivors against Dutch state

    Why were Ibro, Nasiha and Muhamed Nuhanovic and Rizo Mustafic sent to their deaths when the United Nations had promised to ensure their safety?

    Today the Netherlands District Court in The Hague will deliver its verdict on whether the Dutch state and its contingent of United Nations peace-keeping troops can be held responsible for handing over Bosnian refugees who had looked to them for protection to be murdered by Serb soldiers in July 1995.

    “We hope that the Dutch government, along with the international community, will finally accept responsibility for the deaths of 8376 men and boys from the town and for their surviving relatives”, declared GfbV/STP General Secretary Tilman Zülch, speaking in Göttingen, Germany, today. “The eyes and thoughts of all the survivors of the massacre who hold the Dutch UN troops and the Dutch government responsible for the the death of their defenceless relatives are focused on The Hague. The judges must not disappoint them.”

    In July 1995 Bosnians who had sought refuge In the UN forces’ base at Potocari were ordered by Dutch UN peacekeepers to leave the safety of the base and sent to face the prospect of certain death with Bosnian refugees already being killed and raped by Serb soldiers only a few metres outside the area under UN protection . The UN forces even denied protection to Bosnians who were known personally to them and to the family of their interpreter.

    Six years ago the family of electrician Rizo Mustafic, who was murdered at Srebrenica, and Hasan Nuhanovic, whose parents and brother were also among those killed, began their civil action in the District Court at The Hague. They sought to hold the Dutch state accountable for the failings of the Dutch UN battalion. What the court has to determine is whether the Dutch government and the Dutch command within UNPROFOR should be held accountable for the shameful conduct of Dutch forces who were more concerned for their own safety than they were for the protection of the civilians in their care.

    Hasan Nuhanovic lost his parents and his younger brother. His father’s remains have been found in a mass grave and identified but the fate of his mother and brother remains unknown. Many mass graves were subsequently dug up by Serb troops using bulldozers to conceal the evidence. The remains were reburied elsewhere.

    Alma Mustafic, daughter of the murdered Rizo Mustafic, has written to GfbV that, “Deep in my heart I am hoping that the court will deliver a just verdict and that these crimes will not be trivialised or denied.”

    Background: the tragedy of the Nuhanovic family:
    Hasan Nuhanovic spent the night of 12-13 July 1995 with his parents and brother in a makeshift office on the UNPROFOR base at Potocari, on the outskirts of Srebrenica, working to the orders of the Dutch officer Andre de Haan. De Haan, who was staying in the same room with them and a doctor and nurse, had in the past been a welcome guest of the family and had enjoyed Mrs Nuhanovic’s cooking . Nevertheless he did nothing to help her as she came close to breaking down on hearing that nine men had been killed in the area in front of the UNPROFOR base . The following morning, between 5 and 6 a.m., de Haan said, “Hasan, tell your mother, your brother and your father they must leave the base.“

    Nuhanovic has painstakingly researched the story of the terrible events at Srebrenica which he documented in meticulous detail in his 550-page book, “Under the UN Flag”, before taking his case to court.


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