Relatives of victims who were killed by Bosnian Serb forces from a Dutch UN base nearby Srebrenica back in 1995, can apply for compensation now, however, some families think that this is an unfair.
On Tuesday, the Netherlands Compensation Commission Potocari made an announcement in which it stated that the compensation files in the Sarajevo office are now available, along with its website for applications from relatives of victims that were killed in July 1995 near Srebrenica after they were taken away from Dutch UN soldiers.
However, for some victims, the compensation is unfair because the Netherlands will not compensate the costs of the families’ lawyers since the settlement will be held in a Dutch court.
The person who brought the case to the Dutch judiciary, Munira Subasic – president of the Zepa Enclaves association and Mothers of Srebrenica, stated that she will not take part in the compensation for her son Nermin ”until our demands are met.”
Subasic further said that if this doesn’t happen within 15 days, ”we will end our cooperation and go to court again.”
In Srebrenica, on July 11, 1995, Dutch peacekeeping troops were in charge of safety in the ”safe zone”, however the Army of Bosnian Serbs managed to kill over 7,000 Bosnian men and boys.
Back in 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court pronounced that the Netherlands was at fault to an extent. Further, the Supreme Court also pronounced that the Dutch Battalion knew that men and boys from Srebrenica were in danger for their lives, so they acted illegally.
According to the ruling, if the men and boys were allowed to stay at the base, the chances for survival would have been 10%. Therefore, the relatives of 350 victims can now apply for compensation from the Dutch state for 10% of what they suffered.
Previously, the Court of Appeals in The Hague had ruled that the Netherlands was 30% at fault. After that, the mothers of Srebrenica took the case in Strasbourg to the European Court of Human Rights.
They’re optimistic that the court will bring back the responsibility by 30%, although this is unlikely to happen, says their lawyer Simon van der Sluijs.
“I don’t understand why the Netherlands doesn’t want to close this chapter of Srebrenica in a nice way,” van der Sluijs said.
“They are doing this procedure and payment just because of a judge’s ruling. No form of benevolence or compassion has ever been shown,” he further added.
From parents, spouses and sibling, all of them are allowed to apply for compensation in regards to the victims. Those who lost for instance, a husband and son, they can apply for multiple claims.
Widows will be compensated by 15,000 euros, whereas surviving relatives by 10,000 euros.
A representative of the Netherlands Compensation Commission Potocari, said the the procedure will take no time and effort.
”The Commission should inform (applicants) within three months of the request whether it has been approved. After signing the settlement agreement, the amount of compensation will be transferred to the relative’s account within a few hours,” it said.