Bosnia atrocity families take Dutch state to European court

A woman prays at the Potocari memorial center for victims of the Srebrenica genocide, in Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (AP Photo)
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Updated 20 January 2020

Bosnia atrocity families take Dutch state to European court

  • The Mothers of Srebrenica has accused the Netherlands of failure to protect the men and boys against Bosnian Serb forces
  • The Dutch Supreme Court ruled last year that the Netherlands bore very limited responsibility for the massacre

THE HAGUE: An association of women who lost relatives in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslims on Monday filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the Netherlands.
The Mothers of Srebenica has accused the Netherlands of failure to protect the men and boys against Bosnian Serb forces in what became the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.
Representing families of the slaughtered, the group blames Dutch peacekeepers deployed in Srebrenica just a few months before the end of the Bosnian war.
Bosnian Serbs brushed aside the lightly armed “Dutchbat” blue helmets in a “safe area” where thousands of Muslims from surrounding villages had gathered.
“The mothers of Srebrenica have today filed a case against the Dutch state at the ECHR in Strasbourg,” lawyers Marco Gerritsen Simon van der Sluijs said in a statement, accusing the Netherlands of “not taking sufficient measures to protect” the population.
The case has been making its way through the Dutch courts since 2007, but has met little success.
The Dutch Supreme Court ruled last year that the Netherlands bore “very limited” responsibility for the massacre.
Lawyers for the victims’ group said that was a “totally arbitrary decision.”
“According to the Supreme Court, these men would probably have been killed whatever happened, even if they had been authorized to remain in the compound. There was however no factual debate about their chances of survival,” the lawyers wrote on Monday.
“That violates article 6 of the ECHR which stipulates the right to a fair trial.”
More than 100,000 people died and some 2.2 million others were uprooted in the 1992-95 conflict that followed the break up of the former Yugoslavia in 1991.


Mexico confirms first three cases of coronavirus, linked to Italy

Updated 29 February 2020

Mexico confirms first three cases of coronavirus, linked to Italy

  • The three men are believed to have visited northern Italy
  • Two more suspected cases are under analysis in the central state of Guanajuato and one in northwestern Durango
MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s health ministry said the country has confirmed three cases of the coronavirus, becoming the second Latin American nation reached by the global outbreak.
The three men — two in Mexico City and one in the northern state of Sinaloa — are all believed to have visited northern Italy, the epicenter of the virus in Europe.
“Probably all three were infected from the same source. All three are imported cases,” Jose Luis Alomia, general director of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, said at a press conference Friday.
Senior health ministry official Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a separate news conference that one of the men, a 35-year-old in the capital, “has a mild, mild illness” with symptoms “similar to that of a cold.”
“He is a young individual and so he is at very low risk,” he said.
The patient and five members of his family have been isolated at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Lopez-Gatell added.
The second case, a 41-year-old man who returned from Bergamo in Italy, is in isolation at a hotel in Sinaloa after being tested by regional authorities, officials said.
A 59-year-old man in Mexico City who also visited northern Italy is the third case but authorities did not say whether he had been hospitalized.
Italy has recorded 650 cases of the coronavirus and 17 deaths across cities in the north.
In Mexico, two more, suspected cases are under analysis in the central state of Guanajuato and one in northwestern Durango.
“It is not a national or health emergency,” Lopez-Gatell said, urging Mexicans to remain calm and not panic-buy protective items such as masks.
Mexico is the second Latin American nation to confirm coronavirus infections after Brazil said it had a case on Wednesday.
More than 50 countries have now reported cases worldwide.
The virus has infected more than 85,000 people and over 2,900 have died — mostly in China where the epidemic started.