Press Release - Human Rights Review Panel

Press Release
Number              05-2017
Date                   6 December 2017
Contact              John J Ryan

The Human Rights Review Panel, (Panel) held its 36thsession from 4 to 6 December, 2017 at which it, inter alia, reviewed twenty one (21) cases.

Case no: 2011-27 F and Others against EULEX was lodged on 14 November 2011 by the family of X.F., who had been a prosecution witness in a major criminal case. After a number of attempts on his life by persons unknown, X.F., F. and their children were admitted into the EULEX Witness Security Program (WSP). They found that their conditions were very difficult in the WSP and they left the program voluntarily. However, since X. F. still wished to testify in the case, he was relocated to an EU Member State. X.F. returned to Kosovo to give statements at the pre-trial hearing in the case. He was subsequently re-admitted to the WSP. Shortly thereafter he re-turned to the EU Member State where he died on 28 September 2011. An investigation carried out by the EU member state police force established that he had died by suicide. The complainants submitted that the psychological pressure that X.F. suffered, his treatment by EULEX as well as his isolation from his family led him to commit suicide. They alleged that EULEX was aware of fragile mental state of X.F. but failed to take the necessary steps to prevent his death.

The Panel concluded that the actions or culpable inactions of EULEX were highly relevant to the overall state of the well-being of X.F. and his family. It was not persuaded that EULEX gave sufficient considera-tion to their safety and security. The Panel therefore held that there had been a violation of the proce-dural limb of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) as well as violation of Article 3 of the ECHR in so far as it prohibited inhuman or degrading treatment. The Panel recommended that the Head of Mission make a declaration to acknowledge that the circumstances of the case amounted to a breach of the rights of the complainants that were attributable to the acts and culpable omissions of EULEX in the performance of its executive mandate and that she disseminate the decision to the concerned EULEX staff so that they be provided with the necessary guidance on the applicable human rights standards to be maintained/upheld in such matters.

The Panel also communicated statements of facts and questions to the Head of Mission in relation to twenty (20) cases of murdered and missing persons, (Case nos. 2016-09 to 2016-23 and Case nos. 2016-28 to 2016-32) at the close of the session.

There are currently twenty eights (28) complaints pending before the Panel. Twenty (20) of those com-plaints have been communicated to the Head of Mission and the remainder are under review.

The decisions of the Panel are published on the website of the Panel in the English, Albanian and Serbian languages:

The next session of the Panel is scheduled to take place from 10 April to 12 April 2018

 Notes to the editor;
The Human Rights Review Panel (Panel) for EULEX Kosovo, as an independent accountability mechanism for alleged violations of hu-man 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 compensa-tion. The Panel is independent in the exercise of its functions which it performs with impartiality and integrity.