19 March 2010
More than a decade after a Serbian militia devastated the Kosovo village of Cuska and murdered 41 villagers, the Serbian war crimes prosecutor announced that police arrested 9 men in connection with the killings, bringing victims one step closer to justice.
Human Rights Watch’s 1999 report, “A Village Destroyed,” first documented the massacre in detail. Not only did Human Rights Watch interview eye-witness survivors, but we also obtained photographs of militia members posing with guns in front of burning homes. The surviving villagers identified some of the crime’s alleged perpetrators in the photos.
The massacre took place on May 14, 1999, in the midst of the Kosovo war. At dawn, Serbian fighters entered Cuska and rounded up the villagers. They stole money and jewelry, then separated the men from the women and children. The men, numbering about 30, were forced into three different homes and gunned down in cold blood. The houses were then lit on fire.
For eleven years Human Rights Watch has pressured authorities in Serbia and Kosovo to investigate and prosecute those responsible for war crimes, and our researchers have testified repeatedly before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.