news 20 Nov 12

Croatian Serb Refugees Plan Protest Over Hague Acquittal

Representatives of refugee associations in Serbia will submit a draft resolution to Serbia's parliament following the surprise acquittal in The Hague of generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac.

Bojana Barlovac

Miodrag Linta, president of the Coalition of Refugees in Serbia association, on Monday said refugee associations were drafting a resolution on the rights of refugees and exiled persons.

“The goal is to oblige the Serbian government and other bodies to open the issue in talks with the governments in Zagreb and Sarajevo and international bodies and solve the problems of exiled and displaced persons,” he said.

Linta said the associations will submit their draft resolution next week and ask for it to be discussed at a special parliamentary session.

The move comes after the Hague Tribunal on Friday overturned an earlier guilty verdict against two former Croatian Army generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac in relation to a Croatian army operation in 1995.

Linta called the generals' acquittal "shameful" and "humiliating" for Serbian people saying that 200,000 Serbs had been expelled and some 2,000 killed in the Croatian Army Operation "Oluja" ["Storm"] in 1995.

"The Coalition of Refugee Associations believes the decision of the Appeals Chamber of the Hague Tribunal is shameful, scandalous, unfair and humiliating, not only for the victims, their families and expelled Serbs but for the whole Serbian nation," Linta noted.

He has scheduled a protest meeting for Sunday in front of the Cathedral in Belgrade and a protest walk to the parliament building to deliver the draft resolution.

Linta urged all refugees to make an appearance and show they want to fight for their rights.

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