Episode 25 – Victims’ Day in Court with Liesbeth Zegveld

Liesbeth Zegveld on video call

Taking advantage of the lock down in the Netherlands, we managed to pin down tireless Dutch human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld via Zoom. While she’s also professor of Reparations, she’s best known as a Dutch human rights lawyer for getting a landmark ruling from the Dutch Supreme Court about the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

The Netherlands’ top judges held that the Dutch state could be held responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslim men ordered to leave the Dutch-controlled U.N. compound after the Bosnian Serb army overran the enclave and ultimately killed some 8,000 men and boys in the weeks following the takeover.

Liesbeth was also on a Justice Update before, to talk about the Ziada case where she represents a Dutch-Palestinian man who is trying to claim damages from former Israeli military leaders including the current Defence secretary Benny Gantz for a rocket attack on Gaza that killed many in his family. Her other cases include getting damages for Indonesian widows for the Rawagede massacre, getting compensation for Holocaust survivors and the surviving families of people who died in the Holocaust from the Dutch railways NS who had been paid by the German occupiers to transport mainly Jewish prisoners to Nazi concentration camps.

Most recently Liesbeth filed a claim with the Dutch defence ministry on behalf of the families of people killed in a 2015 air raid on the Iraqi town of Hawija as part of the operation of the international coalition against the Islamic State group.

For our recommendations’ corner Liesbeth told us the the Covid-19 lockdown has given her a chance to delve into the classics. She is currently reading Hannah Arentdt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and finally found time to watch The Godfather.