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Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker e.V. (GfbV)

Karad?ic Appeal (20 March 2019): Genocide must not go unpunished!

Radovan Karad?ic was found guilty of genocide at Srebrenica, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentenced him to 40 years imprisonment. The (successor) Court is due to deliver its decision on his appeal at The Hague on 20 March 2019. Right-wing extremists like the Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant continue to this day to praise Karad?ic and his murderous ideology.

On 24 March 2016 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague found Radovan Karad?ic guilty of genocide at Srebrenica, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Court sentenced him to 40 years imprisonment for crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Karad?ic accused the ICTY judges of subjecting him to a "political trial" and appealed the verdict. The (successor) Court is due to deliver its decision on his appeal at The Hague on 20 March 2019.

"Radovan Karad?ic brought death, displacement, pain and poverty to us and our fellow countrymen and -women. The individuals responsible for the bloody partitioning of our country, genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass rape must not be allowed to go unpunished," insists Nura Begovic, a survivor of the Srebrenica genocide, ahead of the Appeal Chamber's verdict on the charges against the Bosnian Serb leader. "The international community must never accept genocide. Otherwise the trail of bloodshed will never end", she believes. The murderous ideology continues to have an effect. Right-wing extremists all over the world refer to Karad?ic: Brenton Tarrant, who recently committed a right-wing terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch (New Zealand), praised Karad?ic and his ideas in his "Manifesto".

Along with the survivors of his terrible crimes, Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) / Society for Threatened Peoples is hoping to see Karad?ic held accountable for his actions. We also believe the Court should determine that criminal activities elsewhere in Bosnia, including the Prijedor concentration camps, the infamous Fo?a rape camps and massacres in Bratunac and Zvornik, were also a crime of genocide. Unless crimes are acknowledged, there can be no justice or lasting peace in the Western Balkans.

Between 1992 and 1995 the Milosevic regime in Serbia and forces under Karad?ic's command waged a genocidal war against the internationally recognised sovereign state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The non-Serb population was expelled from half of the country and the so-called Republika Srpska ("Serb Republic") was established. Over 20,000 Bosnians were subjected to a campaign of mass rape. Serb soldiers set up more than 100 concentration and rape camps. Over 100,000 Bosnians were killed and another 500,000 were starved and shot at in the so-called UN "safe areas". Karad?ic was personally responsible for the genocidal massacre at Srebrenica in which at least 8,372 Bosniak ([Insert: "Bosnian"?] Muslim) men and boys were murdered. The Serb artillery bombardment of Sarajevo killed 11,000 inhabitants of the besieged city, including 1,500 children. Approximately 1200 mosques and religious schools and more than 500 Catholic churches and other religious establishments were systematically destroyed.

In the case of the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, the presiding judge Jean-Claude Antonetti agreed to the defence's request for three judges to be barred from taking part in the appeal proceedings, on the grounds of apparent bias. After Karad?ic submitted a similar request, the judges concerned stood down from the case to avoid further delays. It is feared that the judges appointed in their place have not had sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the details of the case and reach a just conclusion.

The proceedings have been conducted by the International Residual Mechanism for the Ad-hoc Criminal Courts (IRMCT), the entity responsible for completing the work of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, whose mandate expired in 2013. The verdict will be handed down at 2 p.m. in the International Residual Mechanism's Courtroom I, Churchillplein, 2517 JW NL-Den Haag. For additional information, see:

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More stories: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker e.V. (GfbV)
More stories: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker e.V. (GfbV)