Survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre were in court in the Netherlands on Monday for a civil case against the Dutch state.
Hasan Nuhanovic and the descendents of Rizo Mustafic claim Dutch soldiers serving under the UN flag in the Muslim enclave did not do all they could to protect people from the Bosnian Serb army. Over 8,000 men and boys were murdered and buried in mass graves.
Lawyer Liesbether Zegveld says the Dutch troops could have saved Mustafic, an electrician on the UN base, and Muhamed Nuhanovic, younger brother of interpreter Hasan. Mustafic was sent away from the base when the Bosnian Serbs arrived 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 in the Volkskrant. ‘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.
Lawyers for the Dutch state argue that soldiers acted in line with UN instructions, and say only the UN is liable for compensation.
‘It is regrettable, but they were sent away so as not to endanger others,’ said lawyer for the state Bert Jan Houtzagers.
The court ruling is due in September but as both sides are likely to appeal, the case will go on for years, NOS tv reported.
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