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Dutch culpable in deaths of three Muslims

Friday, September 06, 2013 - 01:32

Sept. 6 - A court has ruled the Dutch state is responsible for the deaths of three Muslim Bosnian men killed during a massacre after being ordered to leave a U.N. compound. Jessica Gray reports.

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A court decision that could change the Netherlands' future peacekeeping efforts. On Friday, the Dutch Supreme court said the state was responsible for the deaths of three Muslim Bosnian men ordered to leave a United Nations compound during the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. This is the first time Dutch authorities have been formally held accountable for the failings of soldiers serving in foreign peacekeeping missions and could open the doors to further compensation claims. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWYER REPRESENTING NUHANOVIC, LIESBETH ZEGVELD, SAYING: "The most important conclusion is that the U.N. flag does not give you immunity as a state or as an individual soldier." The case was brought forward by relatives of the victims, who said they hope the decision will save lives in the future. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BOSNIAN MUSLIM AND SREBRENICA SURVIVOR WHO PROSECUTED THE DUTCH STATE, HASAN NUHANOVIC, SAYING: "In the future countries might act differently in peace keeping missions and I hope that some, the lives of other people in the future will be saved, because this mistake was admitted." Dutch troops were supervising a "safe area" in Srebrenica -- a small group facing larger numbers of heavily armed Bosnian Serb fighters -- and would not allow the men or their family members stay on base because they did not directly work for the Netherlands government. In 1995 Bosnian Serb forces executed 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Europe's worst mass killing since World War Two.

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Dutch culpable in deaths of three Muslims

Friday, September 06, 2013 - 01:32