The Parliament of the Serbian province of Vojvodina has adopted a declaration condemning war crimes committed during the 1990s wars in the region but local human rights NGO criticised it as a misuse of victims for political purposes.
The declaration has been adopted unanimously on Friday.
The president of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party’s parliamentary group, Igor Mirovic, said the declaration was a form of protest against the recent Hague Tribunal acquittals of two Croatian generals and the Kosovo Liberation Army commander, Ramush Haradinaj, who were accused of war crimes.
“All parliamentary groups had agreed on this declaration…which condemns all crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia,” Mirovic added.
The Prime Minister of Vojvodina, Bojan Pajtic, says that the declaration expresses regret and bitterness over every person killed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The document also calls on all relevant institutions and individuals in Serbia and the region to condemn and prosecute war crimes against Serbs, adding that Vojvodina's parliament supports all the state bodies and institutions in charge of war crime investigation.
However, Vojvodina’s human rights organizations see the adopted declaration as a misuse of victims in order to score political points.
“Victims are again mentioned without names and this declaration will not help them to obtain their rights,” reads a statement by the human rights NGO Vojvodina Citizens’ Centre issued on Saturday.
“Responsible for war crimes need to be brought to justice, while the victims need to be listed by their names,” it adds.