Witness protection still an obstacle to justice in Kosovo | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Witness protection still an obstacle to justice in Kosovo

(04/05-2007) Witnesses in war crimes trials in Kosovo are scared off from going to court, Institute for War and Peace Reporting shows in a recent report.

Human rights groups and observers say the witness protection programme in Kosovo is inadequate, pointing to particular incidents where witnesses have faced violent retributions. Fear of being badly injured or murdered, lose employment or being viewed as betrayers, discourages witnesses from testifying against war crimes suspects.

- If witnesses are not able to come forward or are unwilling to come forward then there cannot be justice, said Julie Chadbourne, representative for the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.