Srebrenica victims push Europe for Dutch commander trials

The families of three Srebrenica victims have asked the European Court of Human rights to prosecute three Dutchbat commanders for the deaths of their relatives. In April the appeals court in Arnhem ruled that the three officers will not be prosecuted.

The complaint against the Dutch officers - Dutchbat commander Thom Karremans, his deputy Rob Franken and personnel officer Berend Oosterveen - is brought by relatives of Husan Nuhanovic, his father Ibro and Rizo Mustafic. They believe that the Dutchbat officers sent these men to certain death when they expelled them from Srebrenica just before the enclave fell in 1995. Serb forces slaughtered some 8 thousand Muslim men and boys, these three victims among them.

Liesbeth Zegveld, the human rights lawyer representing these families, told news hub AfP that the earlier investigation against the Dutch officers "was not independent" and happened under "undue pressure" of the Ministry of Defense.

On Sunday a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense told news wire ANP that the new case is "unfounded" and that the justice system was fully independent.

Last year the government agreed to pay the families 20 thousand euros each in compensation after a civil court ruled that the State was liable for the three men's deaths.