Where We Work | Croatia

In the wake of the 1990s Croatian War of Independence, PHR began working with the United Nations War Crimes Commission of Experts to collect evidence of war crimes and other human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia. These included the wide-scale rape of women and girls and the shelling of hospitals and clinics, in clear violation of medical neutrality. In 1993, PHR experts helped discover and later exhumed a mass grave near Vukovar and concluded that the bodies were those of political prisoners and medical staff who had disappeared during the evacuation of Vukovar Hospital in November 1991.

PHR’s findings, documented in the 1995 report “Medicine Under Siege in the Former Yugoslavia 1991-1995,” were submitted to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and helped lead to the eventual arrest of Slobodan Milošević, president of Croatia at the time, on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Although Milošević died in prison in The Hague before the conclusion of his trial, several other individuals involved in the massacre were tried and convicted by the ICTY and by Serbian courts.

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