Bosniak Refugee Deportations Commemorated in Montenegro


26 May 15
Bosniak Refugee Deportations Commemorated in Montenegro

Rights activists marked the 23rd anniversary of the wartime deportations of Bosniak refugees by urging the Montenegrin authorities to punish the perpetrators and build a memorial to the victims.

Dusica Tomovic

Activists commemorate the 1992 deportations.

Representatives of five Montenegrin human rights groups laid wreaths on Monday in Herceg Novi in front of the town’s police headquarters, which is widely considered to bear some of the responsibility for the deportations of Bosniak refugees in 1992.

More than 60 Bosniaks and some ethnic Serbs were illegally detained and brought to the police headquarters, from where they were deported on buses to Bosnian Serb-controlled territory on May 25 and 27, 1992.

Most of the Bosniaks were then killed; their remains have yet to be found.

Nine former policemen indicted for the deportations were acquitted in November 2012 because the Podgorica superior court ruled that while the arrests were illegal, they did not constitute a war crime and the nine men were not party to any side in the Bosnian war.

Rights groups strongly criticised the trial, not only because of the acquittals, but also because of the prosecution’s failure to invoke the issue of command responsibility in war crimes cases.

“The families of the victims have achieved the right to reparations, but the victims deserve criminal justice too,” said Tea Gorjanc Prelevic, head of Human Rights Action, one of the groups that marked the 23rd anniversary on Monday.

The five NGOs – which also included the Centre for Civic Education, Anima, Broj 19 and the Movement for Neutrality – repeated their earlier call for a memorial to be built in Herceg Novi and for May 27 to be declared a day of remembrance.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)