The Humanitarian Law Fund (HLF) has called on the institutions of Serbia to prosecute the officers of the former JNA who directly contributed to the crime at Ovčara near Vukovar. The organization urged the institutions to stop supporting war criminals and help more decisively in the search for missing persons. They also requested an end to the multi-year search for the remains of victims and called for the creation of a dignified culture of memory for them.
The HLC pointed out that only immediate perpetrators were prosecuted for the murder of at least 200 prisoners of war at Ovčara, despite verdicts being handed down. Despite this, JNA Major Veselin Šljivančanin, a member of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, has not faced consequences and has even appeared in media as an analyst. The Fund highlighted that Serbia needs to pay attention to its victims by publicly expressing reverence for them and their families. To start with, they suggested mapping locations of camps for civilians and Croatian forces, participating in commemorative gatherings, and opening JNA archives to gather information from those familiar with events at Ovčara.
After finalizing proceedings in Serbia’s case against JNA officers accused of crimes committed at Ovčara, the HLC filed lawsuits on behalf of families seeking compensation for their loved ones’ deaths. Over 11 proceedings have been concluded in favor of plaintiffs so far. However, according to HLC representatives, there are still obstacles preventing decisive actions to establish full responsibility for crimes committed at Ovčara, find missing persons and support victims’ families