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Surviving relatives of Srebrenica massacre can claim damages from next week

The relatives of the Bosnian Muslim men killed during the fall of Srebrenica in 1995, can report for compensation from next week, the Wortmann Committee announced on Monday. The Committee set up the compensation scheme on behalf of the Ministry of Defense, NOS reports.

The compensation scheme is specifically intended for the relatives of the approximately 350 men who sought protection at the Dutchbat compound in Potocari in July 1995, when Srebrenica fell. They hoped to get protection at the Dutch-led UN enclave, but ended up being slaughtered by Serbian troops, along with 8 thousand other men and boys.

In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the Dutch state failed to protect these men by not giving them the option to stay in the compound. The judge estimated that the men would have had a 10 percent chance of survival, had they been allowed to stay. So the Netherlands must compensate 10 percent of the damages suffered by their next of kin, the court ruled.

To prevent payment of this compensation taking too much time, the Wortmann Committee drew up a general rule based on estimated damages. Widows are entitled to 15 thousand euros, and those who lost a father, son or brother are entitled to 10 thousand euros. “In the scheme of the Ministry of Defense an the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is included that under certain circumstances you can make more than one request. So a wife who lost her husband and son can make two requests,” committee chair Sylvia Wortmann said to NOS.

Surviving relatives can apply for compensation from Monday, June 14. Because many people left their country during and after the Balkan war, the Wortmann Committee will actively spread word of the compensation scheme in 12 countries.