Appeal judgement against Ratko Mladic (June 8)

Victims hoping that further crimes will be acknowledged (Press Release)

Surviving victims of the war in Bosnia are hoping that the upcoming appeal judgement against the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic in Den Haag (June 8, 2021) will come with an acknowledgement of further serious crimes. According to the prosecutors, Mladic is also responsible for displacing and killing non-Serbs in the north-west and the east of Bosnia – which is why not only the defense, but also the prosecutors, had appealed against the first judgement. "The court should have considered Mladic's crimes in Fo?a, Kotor Varoš, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica, and other places. The Bosnian Serb General is responsible genocide crimes there as well," stated Jasna Causevic, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, in Göttingen, on Monday. "Especially the former inmates of the concentration camp in Prijedor are of the opinion that even more crimes should be acknowledged in the judgement." 

In 1992, Serb troops had displaced more than 52 percent of the inhabitants of the region – the entire non-Serb population. More than 3.800 people, mainly Bosnian Muslims, were killed. Tens of thousands of people were detained in concentration camps, and many were tortured and raped. According to Nusreta Sivac, former judge and survivor of the concentration camp Omarska near Prijedor, the tribunal now has the chance to finally let justice prevail. "Ratko Mladic was commander-in-chief of the army that tried to systematically destroy an entire people in Prijedor. For the generations to come, these crimes must be acknowledged as such. This is the only chance to ensure a peaceful coexistence and an effective coming-to-terms with the past in the region."

The former General had been sentenced to life imprisonment in November 2017, based on charges of genocide in Srebrenica, of crimes against humanity, as well as violations of the laws and customs of war. According to the prosecutors, the second judgement should also acknowledge Mladic's genocide crimes in other parts of the country – while the defense demanded the judgement to be lifted, or a resumption of the proceedings.  

The remains of at least 500 victims have still not been found. Several hundred single and mass graves were found in the vicinity of Prijedor. The largest mass grave in all of Bosnia (and all of Europe after World War II) contained the remains of more than 400 victims. It was not until 2013 that it was discovered – 21 years after the crimes.