The Humanitarian Law Fund (HLF) has called on the institutions of Serbia to prosecute the officers of the former JNA who were directly involved in the crime at Ovčara near Vukovar. They also urged the institutions to stop supporting war criminals and to work more actively in finding missing persons. The organization asked for an end to the multi-year search for the remains of victims and for the creation of a culture of memory that honors their memory. They pointed out that only immediate perpetrators have been prosecuted for the murder of at least 200 prisoners of war at Ovčara.

Despite being convicted, JNA Major Veselin Šljivančanin, a member of Serbia’s ruling party, has not faced any consequences and has even appeared as an analyst in media interviews. The HLC emphasized that Serbia should pay attention to the victims of this crime and publicly express respect for them and their families. The organization suggested that Serbia should begin by mapping out locations where civilians and Croatian troops were held captive, participating in commemorative events, and opening up access to JNA archives so that they can gather information from those who witnessed events at Ovčara firsthand.

After finalizing its case in Serbia, the HLC filed lawsuits on behalf of families whose loved ones were killed at Ovčara seeking compensation for their deaths. Over several years, these proceedings resulted in 11 cases being settled in favor of plaintiffs. Despite these efforts, however, HLF noted that there are still obstacles preventing decisive action to hold those responsible accountable for this crime fully responsible, find missing persons, support victims and their families adequately.

By Editor

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