Fata Orlović was forced to flee her home with her children because of the Bosnian war in the early 1990s. Her husband was murdered in the Srebrenica genocide, one of the darkest chapters of European history.
After the war ended, Fata and her family returned home, only to find that a church had been built on their land.
For over two decades, Fata fought tenaciously to get her family property back.
With the help of her son, she was able to regain part of the land through a special commission set up for refugees and displaced persons. In fact, the commission said that Fata’s family was legally entitled to all of the land, including the field on which the church stood. The Government later confirmed this.
But despite Fata’s demands that the church be removed, no action was taken to return the land to her and her family. She was therefore forced to take legal action.
This led to a fifteen-year legal battle which ended with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Constitutional Court dismissing the family’s claim.
Fata, together with her children and her nieces and nephews, decided to take the fight for justice to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.