Sadija Smajic et al. against Republika Srpska

The Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered a decision on admissibility and merits on 5 December 2003 regarding the case of Sadija Smajic, Derva Cosic, Zema and Ferid Dzafic and Nermina Dzafic against Republika Srpska concerning the forced dissapearances of their loved ones. The Chamber brought a decision in favor of the victims.

CH02-8879%20Smajic%20et%20al.%20Admissibility%20and%20Merits%20E.pdf

106. For the above reasons, the Chamber decides,
1. unanimously, that the applicantsí claims arising or continuing after 14 December
1995 under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and discrimination in
connection with these rights under Article I(14) and II(2)(b) of the Human Rights Agreement are
admissible;
2. unanimously, that any remaining portions of the applications are inadmissible;
3. unanimously, that the failure of the Republika Srpska to make accessible and disclose
information requested by the applicants about their missing loved ones from Vi{egrad violates its
positive obligations to secure respect for their rights to private and family life, as guaranteed by
Article 8 of the Convention, the Republika Srpska thereby being in breach of Article I of the
Agreement;
4. by 10 votes to 3, that the failure of the Republika Srpska to inform the applicants
about the truth of the fate and whereabouts of their missing loved ones, including conducting a
meaningful and effective investigation into the events during and after the take-over of the
Municipality of Vi{egrad in May 1992, violates their rights to be free from inhuman and degrading
treatment, as guaranteed by Article 3 of the Convention, the Republika Srpska thereby being in
breach of Article I of the Agreement; CH/02/8879 et al.

5. unanimously, that it is not necessary separately to examine the applications with
respect to discrimination;
6. unanimously, to order the Republika Srpska, as a matter of urgency, to release all
information presently within its possession, control, and knowledge with respect to the fate and
whereabouts of the missing loved ones of the applicants, including information on whether any of the
missing persons are still alive and held in detention and if so, the location of their detention, and
whether any of the missing persons are known to have been killed in the events in Vi{egrad in
summer 1992 and if so, the location of their mortal remains. The Republika Srpska shall
immediately release any such missing persons who are still alive and held in detention unlawfully.
The Republika Srpska shall also, as a matter of urgency, disclose to the ICRC, the International
Commission on Missing Persons, and the State Commission all information within its possession,
control, and knowledge with respect to the location of any gravesites, individual or mass, primary or
secondary, of the victims of the Vi{egrad events not previously disclosed;
7. unanimously, to order the Republika Srpska to conduct a full, meaningful, thorough,
and detailed investigation into the events giving rise to the established human rights violations; the
Republika Srpska shall disclose the results of this investigation to the ICRC, the International
Commission on Missing Persons, the State Commission, and the ICTY, as well as to the OHR, the
OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Office of the Council of Europe in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, within six months from the date of delivery of this decision;
8. by 10 votes to 3, to order the Republika Srpska to make a lump sum contribution to
the Institute for Missing Persons in the total amount of one-hundred thousand Convertible Marks
(100,000 KM), to be used in accordance with the Statute of the Institute for Missing Persons for the
purpose of collecting information on the fate and whereabouts of missing persons primarily from the
Municipality of Vi{egrad, to be paid within six months from the date of delivery of this decision, i.e. by
5 June 2004;
9. by 10 votes to 3, that simple interest at an annual rate of 10 % (ten per cent) will be
payable on the sum awarded in the previous conclusion from the expiry of the six-month period set for
such payment until the date of final settlement;
10. unanimously, to dismiss any remaining claims for compensation; and
11. unanimously, to order the Republika Srpska to submit to the Human Rights
Commission within the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina a full report on the steps
taken by it to comply with these orders within six months after the date of delivery of this decision,
i.e. by 5 June 2004.

(signed)
Ulrich GARMS

Registrar of the Chamber

(signed)

MichËle PICARD
President of the Chamber

4 Responses to “Sadija Smajic et al. against Republika Srpska”

  1. No wonder Mr Dodik is so keen to remove his misbegotten statelet from the oversight of the courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    “93. Applying the above factors to the respondent Party, the Chamber observes that **the authorities of the Republika Srpska have done nothing to clarify the fate and whereabouts of the presumed victims of the Vi{egrad events or to take any other action to relieve the suffering of their surviving family members**. Apart from the superficial investigation conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as explained in the submission of 13 November 2003 (see paragraph 64 above), the authorities have not investigated in a meaningful way the facts concerning the illegal detention of Bosniak men and women at the Zamnice Camp or the circumstances of disappearances of Bosniaks occurring in Vi{egrad in May to June 1992 and thereafter, not interviewed any of the participating members of its armed forces who took part in the operation, not contacted the surviving family members, and not undertaken action substantively to assist the actions of others (e.g., the ICRC, the State Commission, the International Commission on Missing Persons, or the ICTY) to clarify the events at Vi{egrad. Moreover, the Chamber must note that **according to the ICTY, the authorities of the Republika Srpska were directly involved in the disappearances in Vi{egrad**. None the less, the applicants and other survivors of the Vi{egrad events of summer 1992 have waited for more than eleven years for clarification of the fate and whereabouts of their missing loved ones by the competent authorities. As no meaningful information has been forthcoming, **the reaction of the authorities of the Republika Srpska can only be described as ìcomplacencyî or indifference**, which aggravates an already tragic situation.

    94. Taking all of the applicable factors into account, both with respect to the applicants and the respondent Party, the Chamber concludes that **the respondent Party has violated the rights of the applicants to be free from ìinhuman and degrading treatmentî, as guaranteed by Article 3 of the
    Convention**, in that it has failed to inform the applicants about the truth of the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones missing from Vi{egrad since May to June 1992.

  2. Was it upheld??

  3. visegrad92 Says:

    The Human Rights Chamber as such does not exist today. All appeals regarding the misisng are sent to the Constitutional Court. At that time, the HRC was the last instance institution.

  4. But was the decision enforced in any way?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: