Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Croatia: Key international court ruling delivers justice to victims of war crimes
Amnesty International ^ | April 15, 2011 | Amnesty International

Posted on 04/20/2011 8:53:34 AM PDT by Ravnagora

A judgement handed down today by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicting two Croatian generals of responsibility for crimes against humanity is a strong victory for Croatia’s war victims, Amnesty International said.

The ICTY convicted Ante Gotovina and sentenced him to 24 years. Mladen Markač was also convicted and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment. A third general, Ivan Čermak, was acquitted.

Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač were found guilty of having participated in a joint criminal enterprise during and after the military “Operation Storm,” carried out from August to November 1995 with the aim of forcibly and permanently removing the ethnic Serb population from the Krajina region of Croatia.

“This judgement is the first step to truth and justice for many victims of crimes committed during ‘Operation Storm’ in Croatia in 1995,” said Nicola Duckworth, director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“It shows that even the most high-level perpetrators of crimes under international law cannot evade justice.”

According to the indictment, crimes against humanity were committed during the 1995 military operation, including persecutions, deportation, murder and inhumane acts. The charges also included war crimes, such as unlawful destruction of civilian property.

In a recent report, Behind a Wall of Silence: prosecution of war crimes in Croatia, Amnesty International documented how justice in Croatia is slow and selective more than 15 years after the war ended, and how a lack of political will to deal with the wartime past prevents many victims from receiving justice, discovering the truth and obtaining reparation.

Behind a Wall of Silence: prosecution of war crimes in Croatia

Although the war in Croatia ended almost 15 years ago, the Croatian authorities still lack the political will to deal fully with their past. This leads to impunity for members of the Croatian Army and police forces who allegedly committed war crimes against Croatian Serbs. The legal framework in Croatia remains inadequate for prosecuting war crimes as it does not explicitly define crimes against humanity, the principle of command responsibility or war crimes of sexual violence. There is a continuing ethnic bias against Croatian Serbs in prosecution of war crimes.

Only 18 cases are resolved on average each year, adding to a backlog of more than 500 cases. At the current rate of prosecution, some victims of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity would need to wait another 30 years to see justice.

High-level Croatian political figures – including current Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Vladimir Seks – have yet to face investigation. Prosecutions target mostly Croatian Serbs and other minorities whereas crimes committed by the Croatian Army and police forces go unpunished.

Local courts lack witness support and protection measures. The well-known case of the August 2000 killing of Milan Levar, a potential ICTY witness remains unresolved.

“The international community must demand that Croatia investigates and prosecutes its backlog of hundreds of cases to give victims access to justice, truth and reparation,” said Nicola Duckworth.

“Justice must be sought – and delivered – for Croatia’s war victims.”

Only a very limited number of low-level perpetrators have been brought to justice in Croatia for crimes committed during Operation Storm.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: croatia; serbs

1 posted on 04/20/2011 8:53:37 AM PDT by Ravnagora
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: joan; Smartass; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; Honorary Serb; jb6; Incorrigible; DTA; vooch; ...


2 posted on 04/20/2011 8:55:16 AM PDT by Ravnagora
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ravnagora

Notice that these war crimes are only aimed at organized militaries and governments. No non-uniformed terrorists, warlords, pirates, brigands or others operating outside the law have been tried or charged with war crimes. They get a free pass. So what is the lesson in this selective enforcement of laws?

3 posted on 04/20/2011 9:24:35 AM PDT by fella (... if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Prov.1:10)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fella

Excellent point, fella.

But it’s a start, and that’s a good thing.

Too many in Croatia have gotten away with too much, for way too long.


4 posted on 04/20/2011 9:49:54 AM PDT by Ravnagora
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: fella
Notice that these war crimes are only aimed at organized militaries...

Ostensibly, MRPI did not (or does not) fall into your category of an organized military.

5 posted on 04/20/2011 8:57:54 PM PDT by LjubivojeRadosavljevic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson