Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Price Of Speaking Out In Serbia

Opinion piece by Dejan Anastasijevic


Daniel said...

OFF TOPIC, but equally important

Bosnian Serb war criminal and CHILD RAPIST, Radovan Stankovic, jailed for 20 years!

SARAJEVO, April 17 (Reuters) - The appeals panel of Bosnia's war crimes court on Tuesday increased the prison term of a former Bosnian Serb soldier to 20 years over the serial rape, enslavement and torture of civilians in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Radovan Stankovic was jailed to 16 years in November after he had been found guilty of running a brutal detention camp near the eastern town of Foca and of encouraging and assisting in the capture, torture, rape and killing of non-Serb civilians.

"The panel concluded that the sentence imposed under the first instance verdict did not meet the purpose of punishment, and it therefore revised it," the court said in a statement. It dismissed appeals filed by the Stankovic's defence as unfounded.

The court said that this final verdict completed the first case transferred to the Bosnian authorities from the United Nations war crimes court in The Hague.

Stankovic was accused of setting up a detention centre in the notorious Karaman House in Foca, where he kept nine women in enslavement, including two 12-year-old girls. One of them is still missing.

He was found to have repeatedly raped, tortured and beaten the two girls for months, and offered them to other soldiers, who raped and humiliated them.

The town of Foca has become a byword for the use of rape as an instrument of war in the conflict.

After Bosnian Serb forces took control of the town, they detained thousands of Muslim and Croat civilians, locking up women and pre-teen girls in makeshift detention centres.

The U.N. tribunal has transferred seven suspects to the Bosnian court as part of its strategy to focus on the remaining top Balkan suspects before it closes down in 2010. It announced this month that it would transfer two more suspects to Bosnia.

Daniel said...

Re: Dejan Anastasijevic

One must realize that Serbia is far away from being free democratic society. They are still aligned with Russia and they still live in socialism. "Democracy" is just a smoke screen under which Serbia hides itself.

Anonymous said...

Quote from Anastasijevic article:

The most disappointing thing about the verdict was the efforts of the [Serbian] judge, Gordana Bozilovic-Petrovic, to absolve the Serbian government, and even, to some extent, the accused, whom she described as "family men, with no prior criminal record, who were in no way responsible for starting the war." She described the Scorpions as an "irregular volunteer unit" and insisted they had no relationship with any branch of government in Serbia, despite ample evidence that they had been an integral part of Milosevic's security forces. And as a final insult to the relatives of the victims, she said there was no evidence that the deceased were indeed from Srebrenica or victims of the genocide.


Owen said...

It'd be interesting to know where Ms Bozilovic-Petrovic fits into the wider scale of things in Serbia.