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Serbia’s Institutions Urged by the HLC to Intensify Search for the Missing and Show Respect for Ovcara Victims


Nov 20, 2023

The Humanitarian Law Fund (HLF) called on the institutions of Serbia to take action regarding the 32nd anniversary of the crime at Ovčara near Vukovar. They requested that the officers of the former JNA who were involved in the crime be prosecuted, and for Serbia to stop supporting war criminals and contribute to the search for missing persons. The HLF also urged the institutions of Serbia to end the multi-year search for the remains of the victims and enable the creation of a dignified culture of memory for the victims.

The Serbian judiciary has only prosecuted the immediate perpetrators of the crime at Ovčara, with former JNA Mile Mrkšić sentenced to 20 years in prison and JNA Major Veselin Šljivančanin sentenced to 10 years in prison. The HLF pointed out that Šljivančanin, despite the verdict, is currently a member of the Central Committee of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and appears frequently in the media as an analyst.

The HLF suggested that the institutions of Serbia map the locations of camps for civilians and members of the Croatian forces captured during the siege and after the fall of Vukovar. They also emphasized the need to open the archives of the JNA and collect information from individuals familiar with the events at Ovčara to effectively search for the remains of the victims.

Following the pronouncement of the final verdict in Serbia, the HLC filed lawsuits on behalf of the families of those killed at Ovčara for compensation and represented the victims during several years of proceedings. Despite this, they highlighted the obstacles to establishing full responsibility for the crime, finding missing persons, and supporting victims.

By Editor

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