22nd November 2017: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague today sentenced former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic to life in prison for his role in genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity carried out during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. SRT grantee Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which conducted multiple mass grave investigations across the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s for the Tribunal, greeted the verdict as a victory for international justice and for the victims of Mladic’s crimes.
Among his crimes, Mladic was convicted for his role in organising a campaign of genocide against non-Serbs across the former Yugoslavia; orchestrating the four-year siege of the city of Sarajevo; and carrying out the multi-day massacre in 1995 of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebrenica. Indicted in 1995, Mladic remained a fugitive for 16 years until his arrest in May 2011. He was transferred to the ICTY and his trial began in 2012. Among the 377 witnesses who appeared in court was William D Haglund, PhD, director of PHR’s international forensic programme from 1998 until 2006. Dr Haglund oversaw PHR’s work in the former Yugoslavia and was appointed the United Nations’ senior forensic advisor.
PHR’s director of international policy and partnerships, Susannah Sirkin, said, ‘After more than two decades, today’s verdict offers a measure of justice for all those who suffered from Mladic’s unconscionable crimes […] Amid conflicts and even immediately afterward, the painstaking work of gathering evidence can sometimes feel futile. But it’s those efforts that often yield the most important outcomes. This verdict shows that their work, and the work of all those who document such egregious crimes, is necessary in the global fight against impunity.’
The ICTY is scheduled to shut down later this year.
Full statement from PHR’s website: http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/ratko-mladic-convicted.html
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