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2014 | Communications by T. Hero et al before the Human Rights Council for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 28 October 2014

This case concerns the enforced disappearance of Sejad Hero from the town of Tihovići during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The case was submitted to the Committee by his surviving children and wife.

The Committee begins its Communication by mentioning that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina held in February 2006 that the authorities of the State had violated the rights of the claimants by failing to take effective measures to investigate the fate and whereabouts of their husband/father. In November 2006 the Court held that the authorities had failed to enforce its previous decision.

 The State then describes its efforts to search for the remains of Mr. Sejad, but it does not identify any steps taken to pursue the investigation by other means. The Committee notes that the family was not given the timely opportunity to contribute their knowledge to the investigation into the disappearance of their husband/father and that information that the family has obtained about the investigation was only provided to them at their own request. The foregoing constitutes a violation of Articles 6, 7, and 9 jo. 2 para. 3 of the Covenant with regard to the victim, and Article 7 jo. 2 para. 3 of the Covenant with regard to the claimants. 

The Committee furthermore considers that to oblige families of disappeared person to have the family member declared dead in order to be eligible for compensation, while the investigation is ongoing, constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.

The State was given 180 days to inform the Committee on the measures that it will take to provide for an effective remedy that will give effect to the views adopted by the Committee.