Srebrenica mothers hope for 'just' verdict in case against the Netherlands

Source: Anadolija

Members of Bosnian associations gathering the witnesses and survivors of genocide have departed for The Hague to attend the rendering of final verdict in the case against the Netherlands, which he mothers of Srebrenica blame for being partly responsible for the death of some 300 Srebrenica residents form 1995.

Head of the ‘Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves’ movement, Munira Subasic said prior to the departure that they expect a just and right verdict.

“Everyone has a right to justice, even us, the mothers. If the judgement is not the way it should be then we have a clear message – that we went through a genocide but have no right to justice because we are Muslims,” said Subasic.

Suhra Sinanovic, representing the ‘Women of Podrinje’ association also hopes the justice will be served.

“But it may also happen that they surprise us, given the fact that he Dutch soldiers were not allowed to attend the trial and testify about what was happening,” she stressed adding that these testimonies could have contributed to a more just verdict.

“I don't count all the times when we attended rendering of a verdict. Sometimes we get disappointed but what can we do,” said Sinanovic.

UN had declared Srebrenica region a safe area in 1993 but the Dutch battalion within the UN peacekeeping forces failed to prevent the massacre which killed over 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in July 1995.

Two international courts declared that the mass killing in the Srebrenica region was an act of genocide.

More than 6,000 members of the Srebrenica genocide victims’ families sued the Netherlands in 2007 but seven years later a court in the Hague determined that the Netherlands was responsible for the death of over 300 men whom the Dutch UN battalion expelled from the UN's base in July 1995, knowing that they would be killed afterwards.

Both the families and the Netherlands appealed to the verdict and the Appellate Court confirmed in 2017 the partial liability of the Netherlands.

The Dutch Government and the families appealed to the 2017 verdict as well, with the families asking that the liability is extended to some 350 men and boys and the Dutch authorities denying any responsibility for the committed crimes.

The final verdict will be rendered on Friday.