"19 years after the crimes that have ravaged the heart of Europe, and 16 years after being indicted by the ICTY, Mladić is finally stopped. Justice should finally be done to the thousands of victims and relatives of disappeared persons in ex-Yugoslavia", said Ms Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.
Ratko Mladić, former chief of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb army (VRS) is accused of 15 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the conflict which took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, and in particular the execution of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.
The most famous fugitive in Europe must now be transferred to the ICTY in the Hague and be tried without delay. He will join Radovan Karadzic, the former President of Republika Srpska, whose trial began in 2009.
FIDH and its member organisation also welcome the important step which has just been taken in the construction of international justice. They welcome the EU’s position that succeeded in making the cooperation of Serbia in matters of justice a key element in their political negotiations.
This arrest occurs as the completion procedure of ICTY’s work is well advanced and its doors will be shot by the end of 2014, enabling the implementation of a residual mechanism .
FIDH and CPDD Serbia call upon :
the ICTY to commit as soon as possible to open the trial of Mladić in the Hague
the UN Security Council to reassess the completion strategy of the ICTY to enable it to complete the trial of Ratko Mladić
The Serbian Government to :
strengthen its support to the special chamber for war crimes in the District Court of Belgrade and the Office of the Prosecutor for war crimes;
continue its cooperation with the ICTY and arrest Goran Hadzic, now the only remaining fugitive ICTY, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity when he was President of the Government of the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous District Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem (SAO SBWS) and subsequently President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK).