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The Mothers of Srebrenica association, representing more than 6,000 family members of Srebrenica genocide victims, has filed a complaint against the Netherlands to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, Dutch law firm Van Diepen Van der Kroef announced on Monday.
The association alleges that a Dutch battalion of UN peacekeepers failed to protect Bosniaks from Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica, which had been declared a ‘safe zone’ by the UN. Some 8,000 Bosniaks were subsequently killed.
“The complaint against the Dutch state is that in July 1995 the Netherlands failed to take the measures within its powers to protect the men and boys in the safe area Srebrenica,” Van Diepen Van der Kroef said in a statement.
The Dutch Supreme Court ruled in July 2019 that the Netherlands acted unlawfully because the Dutch battalion send 350 Bosniaks out of the UN compound near Srebrenica despite the fact there was a danger that they would be killed.
The court however ruled that the Netherlands had limited liability because there was a high chance that the Bosniaks would have been killed anyway event if they had stayed in the compound.
“However, there has been no factual debate in court about the men’s chances. The Supreme Court’s decision in this respect is entirely arbitrary,” said the statement from Van Diepen Van der Kroef.
The law firm argued that this constitutes a violation of the article in the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing the right to a fair trial.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the Dutch government admitted responsibility.
“Despite that, the state of the Netherlands has so far not expressed readiness to discuss a solution that would be in line with the Supreme Court’s judgement, but the Mothers of Srebrenica association will continue its battle for justice,” said Van Diepen Van der Kroef.