HLC established its office in Pristina in May 1997. Until the outbreak of hostilities between Serbian security forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army in February 1998, HLC focused on documenting police repression of Albanians, investigating cases of torture, illegal detention, mass invitations of Albanians for ‘informative talks’, and political trials. From this date HLC Kosovo shifted its focus to documenting killings and disappearances of Kosovo Albanians as well as disappearances of Serbs. When NATO intervened in 1999, HLC moved its office to Montenegro, where it continued its documentation work among the 100,000 Albanians whom Serbian security forces had expelled. Following the June 1999 peace agreement that ended the war, HLC returned to Pristina along with the refugees and began documenting the atrocities that had been conducted by Serbian forces during the NATO intervention. After the establishment of the international administration in Kosovo in June 1999, HLC published numerous reports on the killings and disappearances of Albanians and agitated for Serbian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. It also investigated kidnappings, disappearances and murder of Serbs, Ashkalia, Bosniaks and Albanians for which members of the Kosovo Liberation Army were in the majority of cases responsible.
In the beginning of 2011 HLC Kosovo has become an independent NGO which is closely cooperating with HLC and have several joint projects. Our main projects are Kosovo Memory Book, Monitoring War Crime Trials and Trials for Ethnically Motivated Crimes in Kosovo and Promoting Ethnics Minority Rights. Also, HLC Kosovo is an active member of Coalition for RECOM and has organised more than 15 local, national and regional consultations on dealing with the past.
The office of the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLC Kosovo) is working to document facts that will assist Kosovo society to deal with the recent past, while at the same time promoting the protection of minority rights, whose unsatisfactory situation is largely a legacy of the recent past. HLC Kosovo seeks to counter denial and political manipulation of human losses, and ensure the integrity and transparency of war crimes trials dealing with those losses. It also seeks to promote and monitor the protection of minority rights, which are fundamental to Kosovo’s democratic development, to prospects for minority return and their integration in Kosovo society, and ultimately to a peaceful relationship between Kosovo and Serbia.
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