Today, in unprecedented circumstances at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a Bosnian Croat defendant said he had taken poison to protest against the upholding of his 20-year jail term for war crimes. Remembering Srebrenica calls for the eyes of the world to remain on victims, survivors and the process of justice, rather than the actions of a single convicted war criminal.
The ICTY has been precedent-setting in its decisions on genocide, crimes against humanity and bringing perpetrators to justice. Whilst there are many perspectives as to whether or not the ICTY has in fact delivered true justice for victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing, the impact of its work cannot be underestimated. It has heard over 4,000 witness testimonies, indicted hundreds of individuals and convicted over 16 people of genocide.
We stand in solidarity with the victims who have waited for over twenty years for war criminals to be brought to justice, many of whom were in The Hague today. Actions such as those in Courtroom 1 of the Tribunal today are designed to add to survivors’ suffering. As always, theirs are the voices that should be heard. Theirs are the stories that we choose to share, and we are proud to have a community of Champions that amplify those voices wherever they can.
To find out more about survivors from Bosnia-Herzegovina, you can read their stories here.