Remembering Srebrenica welcomes the verdict that Ratko Mladić, former Bosnian Serb military leader has been found guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina where thousands of mainly Muslim men and boys were killed, in what was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War. The military campaign that he led was driven by an ideology which had religious and ethnic hatred at its very core. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Remembering Srebrenica Ambassador and President of the Mothers of Srebrenica Association, Munira Subašić, was at The Hague to watch Mladić be sentenced and said of today’s verdict:
“In July 1995, my world changed forever. My child and husband were taken from me in the most brutal and inhumane way imaginable at the hand of Mladić and his forces. I, along with thousands of other women, waited for my husband and son to arrive. They never did. I have now waited for over 20 years for the man responsible for their deaths to face justice and I am pleased he has finally been held to account but this verdict will never bring back the thousands of lives he has destroyed.”
Whilst Remembering Srebrenica welcomes the verdict in relation to the conviction of genocide in Srebrenica, we work with many survivors from Bosnia, who have expressed deep disappointment that Mladić was cleared of committing genocide in other Bosnian municipalities. Mladić was found guilty of various crimes against humanity in respect to these areas, including persecution, extermination and murder.
Sudbin Musić said he was heartbroken that Mladić was acquitted of committing genocide in the northern Bosnian town of Prijedor, where he is from:
“I witnessed the systematic expulsion of the Muslim and non-Serb population from Prijedor and the surrounding villages from as early as 1992. I was subjected to conditions that no human should ever have to endure whilst being held in a concentration camp. For the court to tell me yet again that was not genocide hurts me deeply, but we will stay strong.”
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chair of Remembering Srebrenica, welcomed the Tribunal’s judgement. Dr Azmi said:
“I echo the sentiments of the survivors from Bosnia and Herzegovina that the architect of destruction and genocide in Srebrenica has finally been held accountable for his crimes and has been sentenced to life imprisonment. I pay tribute to the tireless campaigning of the survivors and victims’ organisations, including the Mothers of Srebrenica without whom today’s verdict could have not have happened. Their dignity and bravery was in marked contrast to Mladić’s behaviour in the courtroom today. It is now time for the international community to refocus its attention on the victims and survivors. Today’s landmark verdict must bring an end to genocide denial and the glorification of criminals and murderers like Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić.”