Human Rights Easy Street in the UK

Mass grave Vukovar – unearthed 1998

Milan Sarcevic, a Serbian, is accused of taking part in the 1991 Vukovar massacre, one of the worst atrocities of the Balkans war, when up to 300 wounded Croats were beaten, executed and buried in a mass grave.

The 60-year-old first came to Britain more than a decade ago and, when refused asylum, returned to Croatia in September 2002.

Having put in another asylum claim, he returned to Britain in 2003 and his case was neglected for nearly eight years, during which time his family had settled in the United Kingdom.

He initially admitted being a Serb fighter in Croatia, later claiming he was unaware of the massacre.

But now, Daily Mail reports, Milan Sarcevic has been allowed to stay in Britain because throwing him out would violate his human rights; i.e. right to family life.

The Home Office refused his application in February last year and accused him of taking a ‘direct role in massacre of the Croatian prisoners’.

Before an immigration appeal judge he ditched his earlier story and claimed he did not know about the massacre until ten years later and that he ‘didn’t fire his gun’ during the battle for Vukovar.

The judge ruled evidence of his involvement was ‘not conclusive’ and did not warrant breaching his family rights under Article 8, saying there was evidence of his ‘strong family life’.

The judge added: ‘At best, there is a possibility that the appellant may have participated but that is not enough  to ... permit the serious interference that would result in the appellant being removed to his family life and that of those around him.’

Sarcevic’s wife has also been given the right to stay in Britain, because she has depression and is seen as a ‘suicide risk’ if returned to Croatia.

Tory MP Andrew Percy said: ‘It’s totally wrong that this man has had the opportunity to have two goes at the asylum system.

‘It’s inexplicable. It’s nonsense to use this Article 8 right to family life. He can easily go back to Serbia and enjoy a family life there.’

Article 8 of the relevant Human Rights Act:

Right to respect for private and family life

  1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
  2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The learned Judge in this case, in London, seems to have ruled on Sarcevic’s rights to a family life with bias and the ruling is unsafe, in my opinion. Clearly he disregarded the point from above Cl.2. which refers to “the protection of morals”, at least. That is, given that the Judge himself admitted to the possibility of Sarcevic having participated in the heinous war crime of massacre at Ovcara, Vukovar, the minimum standard expected from a court is that its ruling does not simply and easily erase even the possibility of Sarcevic having committed war crimes. There is no protection of morality here when the possibility of Sarcevic having participated in massacres exists. Sarcevic had reportedly told the court that he had “no blood on his hands …”.  Instead of relying seemingly overwhemingly on Sarcevic’s testimony, the Judge should have called for further investigations into the matter before making his ruling on Sarcevic’s right to family life in Britain. This more so as the Home Office in UK was the authority that accused Sarcevic of taking a direct role in the Ovcara massacre in 1991. One would expect that the Home Office would not have trumped up the accusations just for fun or political games.

Certainly, there is absolutely no good morality protected by the Judge’s ruling, here. It’s more the case of shaky or suspect morality being protected.

If Sarcevic participated in Vukovar massacre 1991 he is one lucky man on Human Rights Easy Street: The UK court believed his words 100% even though it had no 100% backing for that out of his factual personal history.

This truly brings home how very vulnerable this shallow and wrong Human Rights ruling leaves the British citizens (and those of any other ‘Western’ country) amidst the torrents of asylum seekers they’re faced with every day. No one would want to deny human rights to anyone but there must be a standard of acceptable proof that an individual’s application for asylum is genuine and not an escape from prosecution for possible war crime of massacre, and the like. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Imported from Facebook:Since “the judge added: ‘At best, there is a possibility that the appellant may have participated but that is not enough to … permit the serious interference that would result in the appellant being removed to his family life and that of those around him.’” it would be fair enough to extradite Milan Sarcevic along with his beloved family providing they could not be separated in the prison neither.

  2. Sunman says:

    What about the human rights of the victims of Serbia’s aggressive war on Croatia and other non-serbs. When Croatia tried to protect the human rights of its citizens we were branded as war criminals. The surviving victims of Serbia’s aggression against Croatians and other non-Serbs must take legal action through the Human Rights, civil and criminal courts of Europe.

  3. Michael Silovic says:

    I totally disagree. Sending them back would do no good. If they were Americans living in a foreign country the CIA would assassinate them and end of story. They do not deserve a trial.

    • 🙂

      • Sunman says:

        Everyone deserves a fair and just trial. It’s what makes a nation civilized, mature and strong. Let’s not become what the enemy is, or what the enemy would like us to become.

      • Michael Silovic says:

        Sunman I agree with the fair trial statement but Croats never get a fair trial look at the hague and tell me what was fair about that. We have less then 10 days to find out how fair of a trial the generals really got. I am not hopeful they did or will.

      • Michael,
        Yes, I agree re: the Hague and Croats unfair and politicized treatment. The Western powers (EC, EU etc.) were looking to hide or justify their hypocracy by trying to equalize guilt. Which of course the Serbs encouraged and relished. How messed up is it that you hold free and fair elections, obversed and certified by the EC/EU, then have a war of aggression thrust on you by an imperialist and expansionist Serbia, then you get abandon by the democratic world and to top it off you get branded a criminal for defending your home.

  4. Marcus says:

    Daily Mail 9 May – Britain becoming safe haven for war criminals … “A Border Agency spokesman said: ‘The Government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if their presence is not conducive to the public good.
    ‘We are determined to ensure the UK does not become a refuge for war criminals. If it is not possible to remove them immediately – for example, if we have been over-ruled by the courts – these individuals can now be subjected to stringent reporting and employment restrictions while we continue to seek their removal.’”

    Read more:

    Croatia’s request for extradition of Sarcevic had been denied by British judiciary also, Croatia must try and try again in the extradition process. Or, the British people could turn the heat up on their government to simply load all the suspected war criminals seeking asylum there onto a plane and fly them to the countries seeking extradition. I’m sure the planes would be welcome to land at those airports.

  5. Michael Silovic says:

    i will wait until Monday to see what happens at the Hague. I am praying all weekend long hoping that they are set free and the Hague understands that we no longer believe in their system of justice that is manipulated by EU powers. I hope all Croatians take a moment in silence and prayer on Monday.

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