DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

10 November, 2008


The support is pouring for Florence Hartmann, the autor of the book "PAIX ET CHATIMENT" (Peace and Punishment) and former spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), who has been indicted by the Court on two counts of contempt because she allegedly revealed confidential information to the public concerning Serbia's manipulation of evidence.

The following statement - by numerous human-rights organizations from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosova, Montenegro and Serbia - calls for Hartmann's proceedings to be open to the public and demands from Serbia to supply the uncensored minutes of the Supreme Defence Council (VSO).

As our readers may recall, Serbia's darkest pages were hidden from the International Court of Justice (ICJ). As a result, the ICJ cleared Serbia from direct responsibility for the Srebrenica genocide. At the same time, the Court found Serbia guilty of violating its obligation under the Genocide Convention to prevent Srebrenica genocide, and guilty of violating its obligations under the Convention by having failed fully to co-operate with the ICTY.

Full Statement

Concerning the trial of journalist Florence Hartmann conducted before the Hague Tribunal for the alleged publication of confidential Appeals Chamber decisions in the Slobodan Milosevic case, human rights organizations from the successor states to the former Yugoslavia would like draw attention to the fact that the content of these decisions was the subject of many press reports and public debates after the International Court of Justice delivered it judgment in February 2007 in the case of BiH versus Serbia on charges of genocide and it is not clear why Ms. Florence Hartmann has been singled out by the Hague judges.

In that period, human rights organizations in the entire region of the former Yugoslavia were openly discussing why the Hague Tribunal had not given the minutes of the Supreme Council of Defence of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the International Court of Justice and why the International Court of Justice had not demanded these documents from Serbia in the process of adjudicating the case of BiH versus Serbia. Human rights organizations extensively criticized the decision made by the Hague Tribunal to accept the request submitted by Serbia to conceal parts of the Supreme Council of Defence’s minutes as well as the decision of the International Court of Justice not to demand the aforementioned minutes from Serbia, explaining that they possessed enough documents to make a decision. Human rights organizations from Serbia demanded that the Government of Serbia reveal the minutes of the Supreme Council of Defence and remove existing doubts that it had concealed evidence concerning the state’s responsibility for the genocide committed in BiH. There is a serious suspicion that the Hague Tribunal, by its decision on protective measures applied to the minutes of the Supreme Council of Defence, as well as the International Court of Justice, by its indifference concerning the gathering of important evidence, protected Serbia from possible responsibility for participating in the genocide committed in Srebrenica.

Human rights organizations from the region of the former Yugoslavia call on Serbia to waive these protective measures and remove any doubt that the concealed parts of the Supreme Council of Defence’s minutes hide facts about the responsibility of Serbia in the commission of the genocide in Srebrenica. Human rights organizations also call on the Hague Tribunal to clarify its decision to accept the request of Serbia [to conceal the text] and remove doubts that such decisions of the Hague Tribunal are confidential solely to hide from the public the fact that it protected Serbia from responsibility for genocide committed in Srebrenica. In relation to this, the trial of Florence Hartmann should be public and accessible for monitoring by human rights organizations.

Signed by:

+ Action for Human Rights, Podgorica, Montenegro

+ Aleksandar Zeković, independent researcher on human-rights violations in Montenegro

+ Anima, Kotor, Montenegro

+ Association of Lawyers of Montenegro, Montenegro

+ Association for Women’s Human Rights - KODI, Pecs, Kosovo

+ Association for Peace and Reconciliation, Đakovica, Kosovo

+ Association of Women for Women, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

+ B.a.B.e. - Group for Women’s Rights, Zagreb, Croatia

+ Bureau for Human Rights, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina

+ Centre for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights, Osijek, Croatia

+ Centre for Education on Representation and Resources, Prishtina, Kosovo

+ Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, Prishtina, Kosovo

+ Censorship - League for the Advancement of Media Freedoms, Split, Croatia

+ Citizens’ Action, Pančevo, Serbia

+ Citizens’ Committee for Human Rights, Zagreb, Croatia

+ Committee for Human Rights, Leskovac, Serbia

+ Documenta, Zagreb, Croatia

+ Eye of Vision, Pecs, Kosovo

+ Foundation for Humanitarian Law, Belgrade, Serbia

+ Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in RS, Bijeljina, Bosnia-Herzegovina

+ Helsinki Committe for Human Rights in Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

+ Helsinki Citizens’ Committee, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina

+ Integra, Prishtina, Kosovo

+ Kosova Partners. Prishtina, Kosovo

+ Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Belgrade, Serbia

+ Montenegrin Women’s Lobby, Podgorica, Montenegro

+ Sandžak Committee for Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, Novi Pazar, Serbia

+ Secure Women’s House, Podgorica, Montenegro

+ Women in Black, Belgrade, Serbia

+ Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Serbia

+ Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Montenegro

+ Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Kosovo

+ Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Bosnia-Herzegovina

More from Srebrenica Genocide Blog:

Serbia's Darkest Pages Hidden from Genocide Court, read here.

Florence Hartmann Acted in the Interest of Justice and History, read here.

ICJ Finds Serbia Guilty of Not Preventing Srebrenica Genocide, read here.

ICJ Ruling Shows Governments Can Avoid Liability For Genocide, read here.

Prof. Martin Shaw Calls ICJ Ruling Perverse Judgment, read here.

Milosevic's Death Saved Serbia from Genocide Responsibility, read here.

Politics and Justice Don't Mix, ICJ's Ruling in Bosnia vs Serbia Case, read here.

UN Chief Prosecutor Slams ICJ's Srebrenica Genocide Ruling Response, read here.

Bosnian Serbs Were Under Control of Belgrade (Serbia, Yugoslavia), read here.

Open Letter by 54 Academics and Intellectuals Re ICJ Ruling, read here.

Serbia's Censorship of Evidence and Serb Veto to Arrest Criminals, read here.