A genocide survivor from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica Hasan Nuhanovic who says Dutch U.N. troops guarding the Bosnian town helped the genocidal Serbian fasciat aggressor’s forces to murder his family told a Dutch court yesterday he wanted justice for his loss.
Hasan Nuhanovic and the family of another genocide victim from Srebrenica are suing the Dutch state for hel[ing the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor commit genocide in Bosnia. The court will hear a separate civil suit on Wednesday filed by about 6,000 relatives of genocide victims from Srebrenica against the Dutch state and the United Nations.
Up to 10,000 Bosnian civilans were murdered by the genocidal Serbian fasciat aggressor at Srebrenica, a U.N. safe haven guarded by a Dutch army unit serving as part of a United Nations force, on July 11, 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.
Nuhanovic, a U.N. interpreter who launched his case in 2002, says his father, mother and younger brother were murdered after they were expelled from the town’s Dutch military base. He says he was allowed to stay because he had a U.N. identity card.
“If I had not done this, I would not be able to go on with my life. I am seeking justice,” Nuhanovic said ahead of the court hearing in The Hague.
Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, representing Nuhanovic and the family of Rizo Mustafic, an electrician in the U.N. force ‘s Dutch battalion who was also murdered by the genocidal Serbian fasciat aggressor, told judges the Dutch state had been grossly negligent and violated human rights through the actions of its soldiers in Srebrenica.
Zegveld said the Dutch troops could have saved Mustafic and Muhamed Nuhanovic, younger brother of interpreter Hasan. Mustafic was sent away from the base and the Dutch refused to put Muhamed on the list of protected people because he did not have a UN pass.
“They were sent to their deaths,” Zegveld is reported as saying. “They were exposed to the enemy.” That, she said, is in contravention of Bosnian law, European law, the Geneva Treaty and the treaty on genocide.
“One life could have been saved, my dad,” Mustafic’s daughter, Alma, told the court. “He was entitled to Dutch protection, this was confirmed to us, but he was not given it. He fell into Serbian hands, since then we have not heard anything about him.”
At a vigil outside the court earlier yesterday, about 50 relatives and Srebrenica survivors held up a long banner inscribed with the names of the 8,106 genocide victims.
Government lawyers said Mustafic was not evacuated because he was a temporary worker and not a U.N. employee.They argue that Dutch soldiers acted in line with UN instructions, and say only the UN is liable for compensation.
“The acts of the Dutch battalion are attributable to the U.N. and not to the Dutch state.The Dutch state made available soldiers for the peacekeeping mission, to keep apart fighting parties. The fact they didn’t succeed does not mean they are liable for the atrocities.”
The Netherlands has said its troops were abandoned by the U.N., which gave them no air support. The families’ lawyers have said public documents actually show a network of Dutch military officials within the U.N. blocked air support.
Judges said they would issue their ruling on September 10.
Munira Subasic, head of a Bosnian association of mothers of the genocide victims from Srebrenica, who will be a witness for the suit to be heard on Wednesday, said she hoped for justice for Nuhanovic “and all others who experienced genocide under the ‘protection’ of the U.N. and before the eyes of the whole world”.
Former leaders of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, both indicated for genocide, are still at large.