Thursday, February 27, 2020 | ePaper

Europe`s worst genocide and Karadzic`s life imprisonment

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IT'S another symbol of justice against a 'genocide' that had committed about 25 years ago by a powerful European ruler; Radovan Karadzic. The 73-year former Bosnian Serb leader has been awarded life imprisonment for his crimes in the war that broke-up his country in 1990. UN judges in The Hague said on Wednesday that they had upheld his 2016 convictions for genocide in the Srebrenica massacre and war crimes.
Karadzic was found guilty on 10 counts of genocide, war crimes and other atrocities, including planning the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995. Bosnian Serb soldiers slaughtered nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys in a "safe area" in Srebrenica protected by Dutch peacekeeping forces for the UN. In one of the last remaining cases from the break-up of Yugoslavia, the judges also increased his original 40-year sentence, saying it did not reflect his role in the worst bloodshed in Europe since World War II.
Actually, the war between Serbs and Bosnians was part of the break-up of Yugoslavia that took place between 1992 and 1995. The main belligerents were the forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and those of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat entities, which were led and supplied by Serbia and Croatia, respectively. The Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a multi-ethnic area which was inhabited by mainly Muslim Bosniaks (44%), as well as Orthodox Serbs (32.5%) and Catholic Croats (17%).
Karadzic, a former psychiatrist and an amateur poet turned politician, was arrested in 2008 in Belgrade after nearly 13 years on the run. Besides, the ex-military Chief General Mladic, 76, known as "Butcher of Bosnia", is currently appealing a life sentence on similar charges. And former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Karadzic's long-time patron during the war, was on trial in The Hague until his death in 2006.
In the modern history, after the Nuremberg trials, we have seen that judgments have also been delivered against genocides and massacres from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh and other courts. The global community will have to ensure that; none can go unchallenged and unpunished after committing crimes against humanity and genocide. No matter how powerful they are.


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