Bosnia & Herzegovina


    Historic judgment on Bosnian Serb military chief Mladic
    23.11.17
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    Handing down its judgment on November 22, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison. “The true heroes are the victims and survivors who never gave up on their quest for justice,” said ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz in a statement hailing the judgment. Mladic was found guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, crimes against humanity for ethnic cleansing of Bosnian towns and the siege of Sarajevo, and war...

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    Yugoslav war crimes court helped end era of impunity
    23.11.17
    AFP

    Born from the fires engulfing the Balkans in the 1990s, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia closes next month having tried and judged dozens of those behind Europe's worst atrocities since World War II. From helping to write the history of the bitter conflict, to putting war criminals around the globe on notice that they too could up in the dock, to setting international jurisprudence for such crimes as genocide, law experts say the tribunal leaves an impressive legacy. It showed it was "possible to bring to justice the high-level figures responsible for the crimes committed in the Balkans conflict", said Diana Goff, an international lawyer and research...

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    Key verdict due on Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic
    21.11.17
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is preparing to hand down on November 22 its verdict on Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic. Given the ICTY’s previous convictions of his main associates including Radovan Karadzic, a guilty verdict is widely expected.    Whilst a guilty verdict is expected, it will be key to see what sentence the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia imposes. Mladic faces a possible life sentence, but in March 2016 the ICTY unexpectedly sentenced former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic to 40 years...

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    Ex-Yugoslavia would be worse off without UN Court, says ICTY Prosecutor
    20.11.17
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    On November 22, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yougoslavia (ICTY) is to hand down its verdict on Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic. This is the last verdict in a trial court of the Tribunal, which was set up by the United Nations in 1993. The ICTY is due to close its doors on December 31, 2017, after 25 years of investigations and trials, and after convicting 83 individuals for crimes committed during the conflicts in former Yugolsavia. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz talked to JusticeInfo about the legacy of the ICTY, the first international tribunal to be created...

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    Mladic: Serb crusader charged over siege and slaughter
    19.11.17
    Ana Holdings AFP

    Ratko Mladic, who faces judgement Wednesday for alleged genocide, believed himself a crusading defender of the Serbs but was dubbed the "Butcher of Bosnia" for mass slaughter at the hands of his forces. The ruthless commander of Bosnian Serb troops in the 1990s civil war, Mladic came to symbolise a barbaric plan to rid swathes of Bosnian territory of Croats and Muslims and carve out a Serb-only state. Captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run, Europe's most wanted man was by then an ailing shadow of his former stocky self. But the general's defiance appeared undimmed during his trial at The Hague, although he was dogged by ill health, and the 74-year-old remains a hero to many...

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    Bosnia's glorification of war criminals 'unacceptable': prosecutor
    07.06.17
    AFP

    Bosnian nationalists are making "unacceptable provocations" by glorifying convicted war criminals and denying crimes from the 1992-1995 war, the UN prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia said Wednesday. Serge Brammertz urged the Security Council to address the denial of war crimes in Bosnia during a meeting on the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The prosecutor criticized a recent decision of Bosnian Serb education officials to ban textbooks that teach students about the Srebrenica genocide and the siege of Sarajevo. "These facts are taught...

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    UN prosecutors urge life term for 'Butcher of Bosnia'
    07.12.16
    AFP

    Prosecutors urged UN judges on Wednesday to jail Ratko Mladic for life, accusing the former Serb commander of a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing to create a Greater Serbia in the 1990s Balkans wars. "It would be... an insult to the victims, living and dead, and an affront to justice to impose any sentence other than the most severe available one: a life sentence," prosecutor Alan Tieger told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. "The time has come for General Mladic to be held accountable for those crimes against each of his victims and the communities he destroyed." Once dubbed "the Butcher of Bosnia", Mladic, 74, has denied 11 charges including two of...

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    ICTY to hear closing arguments in Mladic case
    04.12.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The trial of former Bosnian Serb military boss Ratko Mladic is coming to an end before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Prosecutor’s closing arguments are due to start on Monday December 5, followed by those of the defence. Mladic, who has been on trial for more than four years, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed between 1992 and 1995 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “I chose Mladic,” former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic told a session of the Bosnian Serb parliament, the transcript of which is recorded...

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    Bosnia: "Compensation empowers war crimes survivors", says TRIAL
    22.11.16
    Basma Elmahdy

    Bringing justice to female survivors of wartime rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still a main concern in the field of international justice. “Over 20 years after the end of the conflict, wartime victims are still paying a high price for the harm they suffered”, says Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović, a senior legal adviser at Trial International organization.  Whilst a three and a half year war was ended by the Dayton peace agreement in 1995, sexual violence victims feel neglected by the lack of effective enforcement of compensation awards. Swiss NGO TRIAL International, based in Geneva since...

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    Week in Review: Remembering Srebrenica, and the ICC versus Bashir
    18.07.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    On July 11, the world remembered the massacre committed 21 years ago in Srebrenica, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This massacre, which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has categorized as genocide, is the worst in Europe since the Second World War. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court remains faced with UN Security Council incoherence in the case of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir.  People came in their thousands on Monday July 11 to pay their respects to the victims of Srebrenica.  Twenty-one years later, the grief was still enormous. Wives and...

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    Syria, Bosnia and Chechnya: The Challenge of Documenting War

    How should the Syrian war be documented as the number of dead continues to rise? How should the stories of the Bosnian and Chechen conflicts in the 1990s be told? Invited by the WARM festival, journalists, activists and researchers came together in Sarajevo on June 29, to talk about the work they are doing to document recent conflicts, and the specific challenges they are facing. When the war started in former Yugoslavia in 1991, Suada Kapic thought immediately of documenting it, without knowing that her town, Sarajevo, would soon suffer the worst siege in history: 3 years and 8 months of...

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    Bosnia Makes Efforts to Tackle Post-War Trauma
    10.07.16
    Pierre Hazan, Justiceinfo.Net Editorial Advisor and Associate Professor at Neuchâtel University

    The figures are staggering: according to the Bosnian authorities, 450,000 people are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 1.4 million have shown at least one symptom of PTSD, out of a population of only four million. It is not possible to verify these figures but there is a general consensus that a large part of Bosnia-Herzegovina`s population, especially civilians, have suffered or are still suffering psychologically from the consequences of the war. For years they suffered bombings, were subject to violence or it was their relatives who suffered it between 1992 and...

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    Week in Review: Bosnian Serbs Jailed, France Accused, and Calls for Justice in Eritrea
    04.07.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ended the first half of the year with an important judgment. Before packing their bags for the summer holidays, the ICTY appeals judges on June 30 confirmed the verdict and sentence against two former senior Bosnian Serb officials.  Rejecting all the defence arguments, the ICTY Appeals Chamber confirmed the convictions of former Republika Srpska Interior Minister Mićo Stanišić and of Stojan Župljanin, former head of the regional security services of Banja Luka (Bosnia‑Herzegovina). Both men, said to be close to their...

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    UN judges uphold 22-year jail term for Bosnian Serb leaders
    30.06.16
    AFP

      The Yugoslav war crimes court Thursday threw out an appeal brought by two former top Bosnian Serb officials against their conviction and upheld a 22-year jail term imposed for their roles in the 1990s conflict. Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin had appealed against the 2013 sentence after they were convicted of leading a campaign to rid Bosnia of Muslims, Croats and other non-Serbs during the 1992-1995 conflict. The two men were close associates of one-time Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who was found guilty in March on charges of genocide and war crimes for his role in the fighting that killed more than 100,000 people and left 2.2 million others homeless. The appeals chamber...

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    Sarajevo Documentary Shows Culture as an Act of Resistance

    In a packed room, young women in swimsuits parade for the Miss Sarajevo crown, as bombs rain down outside. Then, still with their radiant smiles, they hold up a banner saying “Don’t leave us to be killed” and throw flowers to the audience. Meanwhile adolescents fueled by lust for life break dance in a basement to forget fear, hunger, boredom and war. During short lulls in the fighting, rock and classical music concerts are held in what was once the magnificent library of Sarajevo before it was destroyed by shelling, although half the dome and part of the walls remain. Singers perform the...

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    ICTY Reflects Strengths and Weaknesses of International Justice
    05.04.16
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo.net Editorial Adviser and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

    The history of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) seems a bit like fiction, with its tales of political pressure, witness intimidation, controversial judgments and the assassination of a Serb Prime Minister for collaborating with international justice. But the ICTY’s story also involves high stakes for international relations and a complex legacy for the societies of the former Yugoslavia. The ICTY has made more headlines in recent days than it had for a long time, sentencing former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic  to 40 years in jail for his role in...

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    Week in Review: Surprise ICTY Acquittal Upsets a Pattern
    04.04.16
    François Sergent, Justiceinfo.net

    The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia’s surprise acquittal of firebrand Serb Vojislav Seselj marked the week in transitional justice, a decision that goes against previous jurisprudence of this UN court. Judges said the prosecution had not provided sufficient evidence that Seselj was responsible for the crimes with which he was charged. "Vojislav Seselj is now a free man," declared French judge Jean-Claude Antonetti after the verdict was pronounced. Vojislav Seselj, a former Serbian MP known for his inflammatory speeches, had been accused of crimes against humanity and war...

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    Question of Genocide at the Heart of Karadzic Judgment
    25.03.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    Former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic has been found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1995). He was sentenced to 40 years in jail, but his lawyer will appeal. This judgment handed down on March 24 is the most important in the history of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Radovan Karadzic appeared tired and defeated as he listened to the judgment being read out. The former Bosnian Serb political leader was found ten times guilty. He was convicted for genocide in...

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    Karadzic trial shows genocide hardest crime to prove
    25.03.16
    AFP

    A complex verdict against Radovan Karadzic, found guilty of genocide at Srebrenica but acquitted of the same charge in other Bosnian towns, has again shown that the "most heinous" of crimes is the hardest to prove. UN judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday found the former Bosnian Serb leader guilty on 10 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1990s Bosnian war. With his conviction and 40-year jail sentence, some 15 people have now been found guilty of genocide at the ICTY for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which almost 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed. But so far the charge of...

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    After Karadzic verdict, long path to justice in the Balkans
    25.03.16
    Zoran Culafic, Balkans correspondent

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday found former President of Republika Srpska Radovan Karadzic guilty of genocide and war crimes committed during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. But neither Serbs nor Bosniaks seems satisfied with Karadzic’s 40 year sentence. Karadzic (70) faced charges on eleven counts including genocide, crimes against humanity and breaching the laws or customs of war in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. The ICTY judges found him guilty on ten counts. Serbs largely see the sentence as unfair and politically motivated while Bosniaks...

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