Netherlands to Assess Compensation for Srebrenica Victims’ Families

Netherlands to Assess Compensation for Srebrenica Victims’ Families

Netherlands to Assess Compensation for Srebrenica Victims’ Families Izvor: ELVIS BARUKCIC / AFP

The Dutch government has established an expert commission to decide how much compensation to award to relatives of 350 men from Srebrenica after the supreme court ruled that the Netherlands had some responsibility for their deaths.

A Dutch government-appointed commission has been set up to prepare a compensation settlement proposal for surviving family members of 350 Bosniak men from Srebrenica who were handed over by the UN’s Dutch Battalion of peacekeepers to the Bosnian Serb Army and later killed, Dutch news site NOS reported on Thursday.

The commission members are people “with a good track record in the field of law, dispute resolution and/or foreign policy”, NOS quoted the Dutch government as saying. The relatives are likely to be able to apply for compensation payments this year, it added.

The Dutch Supreme Court ruled in July 2019 that the Netherlands was ten per cent responsible for the deaths of the Bosniaks.

The court explained its decision by saying that the victims’ chance of survival if the Dutch peacekeepers had attempted to protect them by keeping them at their base was only ten per cent. The ruling determined that the Dutch Battalion was not wrong to cooperate with Bosnian Serb forces to evacuate Bosniak women and children from Srebrenica, but was at fault for handing over the men because it was clear that they were in serious danger of being tortured and killed.

More than 7,000 Bosniaks from Srebrenica, including the 350 men handed over by the Dutch troops, were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 – a crime that international courts have classified as genocide.

The Mothers of Srebrenica association, which brought the case to the Dutch courts, also filed a complaint against the Netherlands to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in January this year.

In a separate case in September 2013, the Dutch Supreme Court found the Netherlands responsible for the death of three Bosniaks from Srebrenica in 1995.

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