A former interpreter for Dutch forces in Srebrenica has had his invitation to a conference in The Hague withdrawn because his presence would be ‘uncomfortable’ for other delegates.
The three-day conference, which begins on Monday, was organised by The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Its aim is to reconstruct the events in the town in 1995 using the recollections of top political and military people involved and documents not earlier made public.
‘Apparently they do not dare to look me in the eye,’ Hasan Nuhanovic told the Volkskrant from Sarajevo. His father, mother and younger brother were murdered by Bosnian Serbs when the muslim enclave in Srebrenica was overrun in July 1995. They had sought sanctuary in the Dutchbat compound but were sent away.
Nuhanovic, who was an interpreter for Dutchbat, brought a legal case for compensation in 2002 which came to a conclusion in 2013 when the Dutch supreme court said the Dutch state could be held responsible for the deaths.
Nuhanovic was invited to the conference by email last September but his invitation was withdrawn last month by telephone.
‘It was a difficult decision,’ Cameron Hudson of the US museum told the paper. ‘But in order to find out what happened in Srebrenica, people must be able to speak freely. That would be difficult in the presence of someone who brought legal action in the past and may do so again in the future.’
Over 8,000 men and boys were murdered and buried in mass graves when the enclave was overrun and the massacre remains the subject of other legal action.
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