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Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
July 30, 2003


The Story from the Families

(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing with individuals who lost relatives in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia during the decade of conflicts associated with the former Yugoslavia’s disintegration.

Missing Persons in Southeast Europe

Friday, August 1, 2003
9:15 AM to 10:30 AM
334 Cannon House Office Building


  • Olgica Bozanic, Member of the Presidency, Association of Family Members of Missing and Kidnaped Individuals, Belgrade, Serbia

  • Verica Tomanovic, Member of the Presidency, Association of Family Members of Missing and Kidnaped Individuals, Belgrade, Serbia

  • Cedomir Maric, President of the Association of Families of Missing Persons from Krajina, Belgrade, Serbia

  • Gordana Jaksic, Member of the Board of Directors, Association of Parents and Families of the Arrested, Captured and Missing, Novi Sad, Serbia

According to the International Commission on Missing Persons, as many as 40,000 persons are missing as a result of a decade of deadly conflict in the former Yugoslavia beginning in 1991. Mass graves continue to be uncovered, while people still seek information from government offices on lost relatives. In some cases, efforts to find the truth about the unknown fate of loved ones have brought together individuals representing different ethnic groups.

On this, the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, the Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing on one aspect of this issue, the views of Serbs who themselves lost relatives in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. The panelists also represent organizations consisting of hundreds of families sharing the same tragedy and grief.

An un-official transcript will be available on the Helsinki Commission’s Internet web site at within 24 hours of the hearing.

The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Ben Anderson
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Bosnia and Herzegovina


Conflict Prevention/Rehabilitation
International Humanitarian Law
Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
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