Youth Initiative for Human Rights organized a protest named: “INVESTIGATION, NOT A DECORATION!” regarding the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Ljubiša Diković being awarded decoration, which occurred on Sunday, February 15th in Pionirski park.

At the moment Humanitarian Law Center announced allegations of involvement of general Dikovic in crimes committed against civilians in Kosovo in April and May, 1999, President Nikolic decided to award Dikovic for outstanding contributions to the country’s defense system and command and control of military units.

With this political act, president Nikolic arrogantly declared to the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor, victims’ families, but also to all the citizens of Serbia that he officially supported the policy of impunity. The decoration Tomislav Nikolic awarded Dikovic with is a mockery to the civilian victims of war and  an insult to the citizens of Serbia that demand equality before the law for everybody.

General Dikovic does not deserve a decoration. We demand an investigation of possible responsibility of Ljubisa Dikovic for crimes committed against civilians and concealing the traces of the crime.

Let us remind you, general Dikovic was the commander of 37th Motorised Brigade during the war in Kosovo. In the area of responsibility of his brigade the crimes against Albanian civilians, including killings of civilians in Rezala, Staro Čikatovo, Donji Žabelj and Gladno Selo were committed. In same area the “clearing up of the battlefield ” occurred and the dead bodies were removed. DNA analysis confirmed that 52 bodies were found in a mass grave in Rudnica in Raska municipality, 100 kilometers from the place where these people were killed and fifteen years after the end of the war – the bodies of Albanian civilians murdered in villages in the area of responsibility of Diković’s brigade.

All these allegations are available in Dossier Rudnica on this link.

The citizens gathered on the protest sent a clear message that they do not support awarding those which are under the suspicion of the involvement in war crimes.