European court dismisses case brought by Srebrenica families


A case claiming three U.N. peacekeepers were criminally responsible in the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica was dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights on Thursday. The court said that the actions of the peacekeepers from the Netherlands had been sufficiently investigated by authorities, and added that it was "impossible to conclude that the investigations had been ineffective or inadequate."

The case was brought by four relatives of Srebrenica massacre victims.

They alleged that the peacekeepers had played a role in their relatives' deaths by ordering them out of the U.N. compound at Dutchbat near Srebrenica when the area had been overrun by Bosnian Serbs.

Specifically, they said that one man, an electrician for the compound, had been mistakenly ordered to leave although he was included on the evacuation list. Another man stayed with his son, who was not permitted to leave.

All three were killed during the massacre committed by the Bosnian Serb army and Serbian paramilitaries that left between 7,000 and 8,000 Bosnian men dead.

The court backed rulings handed down by the public prosecutor and the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court of appeal, saying that the peacekeepers had no direct hand in the killing and were "unaware of the extent of the imminent massacre."

The Srebrenica massacre has been the subject of multiple legal proceedings, including at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

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