Mladic’s Trial Begins in the Hague


photos by Bruce Sterling

Boing Boing

In English, Spanish
This morning, The Hague tribunal commenced the trial of Ratko Mladic, ex commander of the army of the Serbian republic in Bosnia. Mothers of the slain gathered in front of the court.

Twenty years ago, Mladic started his criminal activities, while still an officer of the army of disintegrating Yugoslavia. A year ago, Mladic was arrested, after years of concealment, mostly within Belgrade. Today Mladic, aged 70, is sitting in the court neatly dressed as a civilian, without his legendary military cap.

As the judge reads the indictment, Mladic cheerily waving to the audience and even applauds certain parts of the recitation. “The wolf loses his hair but not his character,” as the Serbian proverb puts it.

The indictment precisely proceeds as a short elementary lesson of the bloody fall of Yugoslavia.

Ratko Mladic is facing 11 charges: ethnic cleansing, genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, sexual violence, the wanton destruction of the urban fabric of Sarajevo, and so forth.

The maps of the indictment are a trail of blood. The borders of these maps were the major outcome of the Dayton peace treaty of 1995, signed a couple of months after the genocide of Srebrenica.

A witness appears to describe the concentration camp where she was systematically raped. I didn’t even look at their faces when they would enter the room or go out. They had killed my whole family: I was the only survivor. I was just asking the same question day after day: why?

These people lived together for centuries, and then, in a burst of bloody disaster, some became criminal nationalists when their neighbors, now demonized as Others, had to be annihilated at their hands. There is little going in the Hague courtroom that wasn’t described by Hannah Arendt during Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem in 1963.

It outdoes Hollywood, though. Angelina Jolie’s recent movie, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” is a pale replica of this horror reality-show, live from the Hague.

Srebrenica Genocide 16 Years After

In English Mapping of Genocide

FAMA team
Team leader: Suada Kapić

Srebrenica burial by Jasmina Tesanovic ( The Scorpions)
July 11, 2007

Why did I expect it to be easier this year? Going to Srebrenica was never easy. It is called a “high risk business” by the local Serbian police, even in Belgrade.

On the night before the Srebrenica anniversary, we Women in Black had a commemorative standing in the Square of the Republic, as has been our ritual for the past 12 years. Standing soberly in black with lit candles, holding the banner SREBRENICA Not to be Forgotten, we stood in the city’s largest public square, without press coverage because the Serbian press much prefers to forget.

One hundred and three standing women were guarded by one hundred policemen, almost a one-to-one action. We were separated as a political virus from our non-existent audience, though crowds in past years have insulted us and beaten us.

Srebrenica is now a closed issue, according to local officials. After the sentence in the Hague tribunal last May which declares the Serbia government not guilty of genocide — merely guilty of not preventing it — the Serbian authorities as well as the local silent majority can live in denial with official global approval. More

Young Herbivore and Old Carnivore

Yesterday Ratko Mladic appeared in The Hague Tribunal, a month after he was arrested in Belgrade,  following sixteen years of successful concealment.  He was supposed to plead guilty or not to the 11 points of accusations for war crimes in Bosnia. He had claimed that his appointed lawyer would answer the charges, but he appeared at the  last minute as a war criminal star. More

Mladic Arrest; The Silence of the Ghosts

In English , in Spanish
The self proclaimed “God of genocide” in Srebrenica, the Serbian ethnic general Ratko Mladic was arrested today in a small village eighty kilometers from Belgrade.

Mladic sheltered there with a relative, and lived under a false name. For years on end he hid like a house-mouse, and was arrested with a similar meekness. More

Berlusconi e Scorpioni

Francesco Lubinu:
1. Chi è Jasmina Tesanovic?
Sono una donna che ogni tanto scrive. È stato così per tutta la vita, non ho fatto altro che scrivere, oltre che vivere la mia vita. Annotare come in un diario il flusso del tempo e del nostro stare nella storia. Per di più sono una donna che ha due teste, una che agisce senza pensare e l’altra che pensa dopo aver agito. Da qui il mio cosiddetto coraggio, di cui a volte non so rispondere adeguatamente. Il tratto più ovvio nella mia personalità, che noto perfino io, è la “ghiandola dell’ingiustizia”. Mia madre diceva che da quando ero molto piccola non c’era modo di trattare con me se non con delle spiegazioni sul cosa sia giusto e perché. Per il resto ero una bambina normale e questo tratto nella mia generazione si chiamava testardaggine. More

Srebrenica Anniversary: The Design of Crime

Today is the 15th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia, where more than 8000 Muslim male civilians were killed and their bodies buried in mass graves scattered all over the region. Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia at the time of the killing, died in the Hague in 2006, before any verdict was reached in his trial. The UN Dutch troops present in the enclave of Srebrenica at the time, in order to protect the civilians, did not face any charges for failing in their duty. Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader responsible of  designing this crime  is currently on trial in The Hague, at the International War Crime Tribunal. General Ratko Mladic, whose troops carried out the massacre under his orders, is still at large.

In the year 2007, Serbia proper was found guilty of failing to prevent the genocide, but not for actually committing it. Many of the large number of people and troops involved in liquidating the Srebrenica prisoners never appeared before any court.  Others received very mild sentences for smaller misdeeds, such as the six members of the paramilitary troops “Scorpions.” More


The mothers of mass graves

Photo of Nura

Nura in Bologna - Photo by Bruce Sterling

Nura comes from Srebrenica and she goes to places where her voice needs to be heard. For those who don’t know and the many who still refuse to know, Srebrenica was and is the enclave of genocide in Bosnia, committed there in 1995 by General Ratko Mladic and his soldiers.

Mladic is still in hiding from the justice of the international war tribunal in The Hague. The day Nura came to Italy from her hometown, another war criminal, the helper of Mladic, was arrested by police in Bosnia. Nura saw helicopters above her head. More

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