Among the Serb officials responsible for the killing of thousands of Bosnian civilians in the genocide that took place in Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 1995, 4 were sentenced to life imprisonment, while 45 Serbs were sentenced to 699 years in prison.
After the occupation of Srebrenica, which was declared a “safe zone” by the United Nations during the 1992-1995 war in the country, on July 11, 1995 by the Serbian forces of the Serbian commander Ratko Mladic, no less than 8,372 Bosnians in a few days were brutally murdered.
Serbian leader Mladic was sentenced to life in prison for several crimes, including genocide, in the case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands, while the life sentence was upheld in the appeal hearing on June 8, 2021.
Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the war, was also sentenced to 40 years in prison for numerous crimes, including the Srebrenica genocide, and then sentenced to life imprisonment on appeal.
Former Serbian officials, Vujadin Popović and Ljubisa Bira, were also sentenced to life imprisonment in the Srebrenica trials at the ICTY.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague, in its 2007 decision, described what happened in and around Srebrenica as “genocide” in line with evidence provided by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
45 Serbs were sentenced to 699 years in prison
Radislav Krstić 35, Vidoj Blagojević 15, Drago Nikolic 35, Ljubomir Borovkanin 17, Vinko Pandurevic 13, Radivoj Miletic 19 and Milan Jvero were sentenced to 5 years in prison in the Srebrenica trials at the ICTY.
In another case before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Trbić was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of approximately 1,000 Bosnian civilians on 13 July 1995.
So far, 45 Serbs have been sentenced to 699 years in prison in the Srebrenica trials, which have been heard by various courts.
Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was accused of genocide in Srebrenica but died in prison awaiting trial.
Holland found “partly” guilty.
Although most Bosnian civilians took refuge in the base used by Dutch UN soldiers in July 1995, Serbs who approached the civilians being held in the factory compound used as a base separated the men and killed them.
Controversy over the role of Dutch UN soldiers in the genocide has continued despite the intervening years.
In the photographs taken after the occupation of the city and familiar to the public, it is indicated that the Dutch captain Thom Karriman stood hand in hand in front of Mladic, who met him on July 11, 1995.
Mladić, who took Carmen’s pass for shooting Serbs who entered the city, is seen to buy Kremans a drink at the end of the footage and the two have a toast together.
Another interesting detail is that Mladić gave various gifts to Kariman and his family before expelling the Dutch soldiers from Srebrenica.
While Kariman was never tried for what happened, the Dutch state was found “partly” guilty of the genocide in Srebrenica.
In a suit brought by relatives of the victims in 2007, the Hague District Court found the Netherlands guilty of handing over to the Serbs more than 300 Bosnian civilians who had taken refuge with Dutch soldiers at the United Nations during the occupation of Srebrenica.
An apology from the Netherlands at last year’s ceremony
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Olungren, who attended the memorial service in Srebrenica last year, apologized to the Bosnian families who lost relatives in the genocide.
Noting that Srebrenica is the home of terrible memories, Olungren said, “We also feel mistrust of the UN soldiers, who should provide a safe place. This is a genocide too terrible to be forgotten in time, and time will never ease the pain of those whom I lost.” He said.
Stressing that international institutions promised to protect the innocent, Ollongren said, “The Netherlands was one of them. Despite everything, Srebrenica was crushed. Our soldiers did their best to fulfill their duties and help the weak.” He said.
30 victims will be buried this year
8,372 Bosniaks, who were put into buses and trucks by the Serbs, were brutally murdered in the forest areas, factories and warehouses to which they were transported. The bodies of the dead were buried in various mass graves across the country.
After the war, the victims whose bodies were found were buried in mass graves in an effort to find the missing in a ceremony held at the Potocari Memorial Cemetery on 11 July each year after their identification.
On the 28th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, another 30 genocide victims, whose identities have been identified and approved by their families, will be buried at the Potocari Memorial Cemetery.
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