01/10/2012 Press release on the occasion of anniversary of the Yugoslav People’s Army siege of Dubrovnik

20/09/2012 The journalists’ right to protect sources
04/ 10/ 2012 Support for the initiative for the review of the constitutionality of the Misdemeanor Act

01/10/2012 Press release on the occasion of anniversary of the Yugoslav People’s Army siege of Dubrovnik

On 1 October 2012, we mark another anniversary of the beginning of the nine-month siege of Dubrovnik initiated and carried out in 1992 by the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) composed mostly of soldiers and volunteers from Montenegro, including members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Montenegro.

To date, 21 years later, Montenegro has not secured a single final judgement for the crimes committed in relation to the siege.

The Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office informed us that in connection with the events at the Dubrovnik front, in addition to the ”Morinj” detention camp case, only one other case file had been formed based on a criminal complaint submitted against unknown YPA’s soldiers from Montenegro due to a murder of a civilian in Zvekovica village, located near Dubrovnik airport.

HRA reminds that according to the Hague tribunal verdict, Pavle Strugar, a former General of YPA and Commander in Chief of the attack on Dubrovnik was found guilty and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison based on the criminal responsibility of the superior for violations of the laws and customs of war. HRA reiterates that death of two civilians during the attack was proved and that according to other sourcesi) , including the United Nations Reportii) , more than 80 civilians was killed and more than hundreds wounded in a wider Dubrovnik area. In addition, the Montenegrin authorities accepted responsibility for the damage caused by organized looting in which Montenegrin citizens participated in the Republic of Croatiaiii) . Also, the Hague tribunal demonstrated that YPA members deliberately targeted the Old Town, although they knew that there was civilian population.

It is high time for the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office to act against those responsible for the war crimes at Dubrovnik front. Such responsible action would be a path to justice for the victims. It would also greatly improve neighbourly relations between Montenegro and Croatia and confirm the rule of law in Montenegro.

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i)  More information is available on the website of the State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia: http://www.dorh.hr/ZupanijskoDrzavnoOdvjetnistvoUDubrovniku

ii) United Nations Report is available at: http://ess.uwe.ac.uk/comexpert/ANX/XI-A.htm

iii) Montenegrin Agriculture Minister Milutin Simović said in 2005 that Montenegro would pay 375,000 Euros to the Konavle municipality to compensate for the 268 milk cows and a number of calves and bullocks taken from a farm in Gruda in 1991. The Presidents of Croatia and Montenegro confirmed that talks were under way about returning the assets of the Dubrovnik airport that  was seized and moved to Tivat Airport during the war. According to the data of the Croatian state authorities, in the Dubrovnik area alone, 336 larger and smaller sea vessels were destroyed, damaged or stolen during the war, in the 1991–1992 period