A wide-ranging list of more than 13,000 people of all nationalities who died or disappeared during the Kosovo conflict was published online to mark Human Rights Day.
The list of 13,517 people who were killed or went missing between January 1998 and December 31, 2000, including civilians and members of armed forces, was published on Wednesday on a website called the Kosovo Memory Book.
The list includes 10,415 Albanians, 2,197 Serbs, 528 Roma, Bosniaks and other non-Albanians. It was created by the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre and the Humanitarian Law Centre Kosovo and was last updated on November 7.
The database says that 8,661 Kosovo Albanian civilians were killed or disappeared, as well as 1,797 Serbs and 447 Roma, Bosniaks and other non-Albanians. The remainder of those registered as killed were fighters.“
It is a result of years of research, which is based on the statements of witnesses and family members given to researchers from the Humanitarian Law Centre and Humanitarian Law Centre Kosovo, as well as on data from court documents, forensic reports, armed forces records, NGOs and media reports, war diaries and other documents,” the Humanitarian Law Centre said in a statement.
Meanwhile at a press conference to mark Human Rights Day, several Serbian NGOs warned that the Serbian government was failing to tackle rights issues.
Sonja Biserko from the Heksinki Committee for Human Rights said that the situation in Serbia was worse than 10 years ago, arguing that “Serbia is a divided society, primarily on ethnic grounds”.
“The unwillingness of Serbia to overcome the legacy of the recent past and distancing itself creates tensions in regional affairs, as it was recently the case with the return of [war crimes defendant] Vojislav Seselj,” Biserko said.
Marijana Toma from the Humanitarian Law Centre also spoke at the press conference, saying that Serbia was not issuing enough indictments for war crimesand that only low-ranking perpetrators were being prosecuted, while “the responsibility of middle- and high-ranking police and army officials is almost completely neglected”.
Serbian peace group Women in Black also gathered in Belgrade on Wednesday to mark Human Rights Day with a protest action entitled ‘Enough Terror’.
Activists held up placards listing human-rights problems and banners that read “I will always be an activist” and “I will not live in fear”.
Stasa Zajovic from Women in Black said that it was impossible to speak about progress in the field of human rights.
“What’s done [by the authorities] is done on a declarative level, and we want this action to point out to the difference between the real situation and promises,” she said.Human Rights Day is marked annually on December 10 to honour the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United Nations General Assembly adopted on December 10, 1948.