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Bosnian Serb Government Must Pay War Victims

March 09, 2003|Aida Cerkez-Robinson | Associated Press Writer

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A human rights court ordered the Bosnian Serb government Friday to compensate the families of thousands of Muslims killed at Srebrenica, the site of Europe's worst massacre since World War II.

The court, the Human Rights Chamber, said the Bosnian Serb authorities had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to tell the truth about the fate of the thousands slaughtered near the city during the Bosnian war.

The chamber was established by the international community as part of the peace accord that ended the war.

The court ruled that the government has to pay $1 million by September to a foundation representing the families, and then $250,000 annually over the next four years. The money will go toward building a memorial center near Srebrenica where the victims will be buried once their bodies are recovered.

Bosnian Serb forces overran the Muslim enclave in the east of the country in July 1995. After expelling women and children from the town, they killed up to 8,000 Muslim men. The bodies of the victims are gradually being discovered in mass graves.

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