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Two US Congressmen nominated human rights campaigner Natasa Kandic and Serbia’s Humanitarian Law Centre, which documents violations committed during the Yugoslav wars, for the prestigious prize.
US Senator Roger Wicker and Representative Eliot Engel on Wednesday nominated Serbian human rights activist Natasa Kandic and the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre NGO for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
“[We] are confident that such recognition would further the cause of peace and reconciliation in this and other troubled regions of our world,” Wicker and Engel said in thenomination letterto the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Kandic founded the Humanitarian Law Centre in 1992 to document human rights violations committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
According to the two US Congressmen, the “thorough documentation of these crimes by the HLC became essential for the provision of justice, both at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and in the war crimes chambers in regional countries”.
The nomination letter notes that the HLC has continued working in a hostile environment in Serbia, but that it is “safe to assume” that its efforts “deterred additional human rights violations”.
“Natasa Kandic remains an inspiration to a new generation of dedicated young professionals who now lead the Humanitarian Law Centre,” Wicker and Engel said.
Kandic is now a campaigner for the establishment of RECOM, a regional commission that would put together a name-by-name list of all the people killed, missing, imprisoned and tortured in all the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
“We are honoured by the nomination, which encourages us to continue our efforts,” the HLC told BIRN.
It added that its aim is to uncover all crimes and those responsible for them, and to help the victims regardless of their ethnicity.
Kandic said meanwhile that she was surprised by the nomination, since countries in the former Yugoslavia have not yet faced their past and are not good examples of democratic transition.
“All of us [at the HLC] are at a loss and find it overwhelming,” she told BIRN.