For Immediate Release: May 16, 2012
Washington, DC – Just shy of 17 years since the 1995 bloody massacre in Srebrenica, the announcement of charges – including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity – levied against former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic marks a welcome milestone in delivering justice to the 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed and their families who have called tirelessly for these crimes to be held accountable.
As Prosecutor Dermott Groome describes, Mladic’s troops were “well-rehearsed in the craft of murder” at the time of Srebrenica. Human Rights First notes that this is an important reminder that mass atrocities are premeditated and systematic acts of violence that are designed and executed to unleash maximum damage and intimidation on civilian populations. They are also enabled by countries, companies and actors who provide perpetrators with the material resources- such as weapons and money- necessary to execute and sustain these crimes.
Human Rights First’s Sadia Hameed notes, “This trial will not only hold Mladic and those under his command responsible for their pre-meditated crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo, but it will also be a beacon for survivors of mass atrocities elsewhere. It will demonstrate that there must not be impunity granted for those who commit and enable mass atrocities and crimes against humanity.”