Landmark Human Rights Decision in Kosovo

05.03.15 | |

The United Nations Human Rights Advisory Panel has delivered judgment in the long-running claim brought by four victims of the violent police repression of a political demonstration in Kosovo on 10 February 2007.  On that day, UN police fired out-of-date rubber bullets directly at demonstrators, killing two men and seriously wounding several others.  The UN police action on 10 February 2007 has been compared to the events of “Bloody Sunday” and has attracted criticism from international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International.

 

The Human Rights Advisory Panel found that the UN breached the right to life of the demonstrators, failed to carry out a prompt and effective independent investigation into the incidents of 10 February 2007, and breached the demonstrators’ right to freedom of assembly.  The Panel’s opinion is available here and a summary is available in the Panel’s press release.  The Panel has recommended that the UN should pay damages for pain and suffering, make a public apology to the victims, and take steps to guarantee cooperation with any official body granted authority to reopen an investigation into the case.  

 

The victims and their families have welcomed the Panel’s opinion.  Their press release is available here.

 

Jude Bunting has acted for the families on a pro bono basis since 2008.  He was instructed by Mr Halim Sylemani, an advocate from Kosovo and led by Paul Troop of Garden Court chambers.  

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