Serbia to Pay Damages for Torture

The first instance court in Belgrade has delivered a judgment requiring the Republic of Serbia to pay the sum of RSD 360,000 (Serbian Dinars) to Sead Rovčanin, a Bosniak from the village of Gračanica. The court found the state responsible for the torture inflicted on Mr. Rovčanin in October 1993 by members of the Ministry of Interior.

This is a great result of Civil Rights Defenders cooperation with Humanitarian Law Centre (HLC) on providing representation in court procedures to victims of grave human rights violations that occurred in the 1990s. At the moment, HLC represents 188 injured parties in 40 cases against the states of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, seeking compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage suffered by the victims.

The Humanitarian Law Center believes that this judgment, should it become final, will bring only partial satisfaction to Mr. Rovčanin as he has waited 19 years for recognition of the injustice he suffered. The torture left him with long-term serious health consequences.

Read a more detailed description of the case here.

Since the beginning of the year, HLC received ten judgments out of which six were dismissing the charges placed by the injured parties (clients of HLC lawyers) and four, amongst which is the case of Sead Rovčanin, were ordering the state (Serbia; Kosovo; Montenegro) to pay a compensation to the injured parties.

Apart from providing legal representations, Civil Rights Defenders also cooperates with HLC on gathering and publishing data on human losses in the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Kosovo, and Serbia and Montenegro.