FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 22, 2017
[NEW YORK] – The Global Justice Center (GJC) welcomes the historic verdict by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of Ratko Mladić for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mladić was convicted of genocide and persecution, extermination, murder, the inhumane act of forcible transfer, terror, unlawful acts against civilians and hostage taking.
“The true heroes are the victims and survivors who never gave up on their quest for justice. They displayed real courage by coming to the Tribunal to tell the truth and confront the men who wronged them. On behalf of my Office, I would like to thank and recognize them.” the ICTY’s Chief Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, said in his statement on the judgment.
GJC’s UN and EU Advocacy Director, Stephanie Johanssen says, “Today’s verdict by the UN tribunal defies those cynical voices who dismiss international criminal justice as being bound to fail. While this verdict was long overdue and the extremely slow process has tested survivors, we welcome this judgment as a strong warning to war criminals and génocidaires around the world – history will not be on your side. In today’s environment with xenophobia on the rise, the verdict is also an important reminder of the disastrous consequences when hate speech of nationalist movements goes unchallenged.”
"Mladić’s defense in the past had tried twisting the narrative of these horrendous crimes by his client by stating Mladic was fighting “radical Islam” a term that seems all too familiar in today’s politics,” Johanssen continues. “To combat violent extremism successfully, we must ground any anti-terrorism measures in human rights and cannot scapegoat entire communities. Further, in light of today’s verdict, GJC again draws attention to the urgent need to prosecute acts of sexual and gender-based violence. The brutal and systematic rape of Muslim women, including sexual slavery was a defining element of the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia and yet, too often sexual violence is still seen as a “lesser crime” compared to mass killings, even when crimes of sexual violence amount to genocide.”
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