Dutch State liable for deaths during fall of Srebrenica enclave

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The Hague, 5 July 2011 – Today, the Appeals Court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch State is liable for the death of three Muslim men during the fall of the Srebrenica-enclave in 1995. In 2008, the court of first instance had ruled that the Dutch State was not liable because the actions of Dutchbat fell under the UN-mandate. On 22 April 2011, Lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Anne Scheltema Beduin plead the case on behalf of the surviving relatives.

According to the Appeals Court, the Dutch State had ‘effective control’ over the actions of the Dutch Battalion; as such those actions can be attributed to the State.

Zegveld has been litigating the case sinds 2002 on behalf of the surviving relatives of three Muslim men who were killed by Bosnian-Serbian troops under the command of Ratko Mladić.  These men were Rizo Mustafić, an electrician working for Dutchbat and two family members of Husan Nuhanović, an interpreter working for Dutchbat. The Muslim men were sent off the base by the Dutch battalion. 

Zegveld said that the Appeals Court has shown courage by ruling that the Dutch State is liable in this case.

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