Human Rights Review Panel holds its 17th Session

Press Release
Number              05-2013
Date                   9.09.2013
Contact              John J. Ryan

The Human Rights Review Panel (the Panel) held its 17th session in Pristina from 29 to 30 August 2013.  

The Panel decided unanimously that there had been violations of human rights by EULEX Kosovo in two more cases related to incidents which occurred on Vidovdan, 28 June 2012.

The complainants who were participants in the Vidovdan celebrations submitted that they were stopped by the Kosovo Police at the Merdare crossing point. The Kosovo Police confiscated their belongings which included t-shirts bearing Serbian emblems and Serbian flags, and allegedly threatened the complainants. The Panel found that EULEX had allocated insufficient resources to ensure respect for human rights by the Kosovo authorities and third parties during the Vidovdan security operation. Further, the Panel highlighted that EULEX provided only inadequate training and insufficient operational guidelines to its deployed staff. Therefore, the complainants could not enjoy their right to respect to private life (guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), their freedom of assembly (Article 11 ECHR; Articles 21 and 22 ICCPR) as well as their right to exercise their religion (Article 9 ECHR and Article 18 ICCPR).

The Panel submitted a number of recommendations to the EULEX Head of Mission for remedial measures in the decisions.

The Panel declared three more cases inadmissible. Two of them concerned alleged ill-treatment in prison. The third one related to allegedly unlawful detention on remand. The Panel found that in all three cases the complaints did not fall within the ambit of its mandate.

All decisions will be published on the Panel’s website upon translation into the Albanian and Serbian languages.

The next Panel session is scheduled to take place from 11 to 13 November 2013. There are currently 26 cases pending before the Panel, four of which have been communicated to the parties, one has been declared admissible while 20 are under review.

Please see for further information on the Panel.

 Notes to the editor;
The Human Rights Review Panel (Panel) for EULEX Kosovo, as an independent accountability mechanism for alleged violations of human rights,  reviews complaints from any person claiming to be the victim of human rights violations by EULEX Kosovo in the conduct of its executive mandate. The Panel is not a judicial or disciplinary body. The mechanism will solely look into whether a violation of human rights occurred or not and formulate recommendations for remedial action. Such action does no include monetary compensation.  The Psnel is independent in the exercise of its functions which it performs with impartiality and integrity.