Civil society representatives in region decry jailing of Hartmann

Civil society representatives from the region of the former Yugoslavia have voice their support for Florence Hartmann in a letter entitled, "Florence Hartmann jailed for struggling for truth"

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(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

The former spokeswoman of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Florence Hartman, was arrested on Thursday, 24 March, outside the ICTY building and taken to serve a seven-day jail term. Hartmann was arrested by ICTY security officers on orders of the chamber that rendered a final judgment against her. Civil society representatives from the region of the former Yugoslavia hereby voice their support for Florence Hartmann and her uncompromising struggle for truth.

Florence Hartmann was not given the jail sentence because she did something that is usually considered to constitute contempt of court, such as tampering with witnesses or refusal to give evidence before the international court, but because of exposing and countering the practice of concealing documents in order to protect the interests of some states. Namely, in her book “Paix et Châtiment” [Peace and Punishment] and the article entitled “Vital Genocide Documents Concealed’, published in January 2008, Hartmann revealed information relating to the decision of the ICTY Appeals Chamber ordering that the documents created by the Supreme Defence Council which Serbia supplied to the Tribunal during the trial of Slobodan Milošević be filed as confidential.

Let us quote the statement that Hartmann has recently given to the N1 TV Station during the Pressing talk show: “I discovered a decision in which judges say ‘we are concealing very important archives of the Milosevic regime because should Bosnia seek reparation, Serbia would have to pay millions of dollars, which would affect Serbia’s economy (...) This is the only part I used. The judges later removed the classification from these documents themselves, because I had said that was an unlawful thing to do. They disgraced themselves by accusing me, by issuing an arrest warrant for me. What matters is that we now have access to these documents“.

We are profoundly convinced that what Florence Hartmann did may be contrary to the ICTY Statute but is certainly not contrary to justice. Quite the opposite. Therefore we stand by her in her commitment to the pursuit of truth and efforts to make official state archives available to the public.

Lastly, we would like to draw attention to the fact that the Hague Tribunal made a decision to arrest Florence Hartmann at the moment when it showed weakness with respect to Vojislav Šešelj’s decision not to appear before the court for the pronouncement of the judgment against him and Serbia’s refusal to hand over Šešelj and another three members of the Serbian Radical Party accused of contempt of court for tampering with witnesses, to the ICTY. The Hague Tribunal used to apply the same standards to all accused persons in the past, so it should do so in this case too.

  1. Aida Kalender, Cultural worker


  2. Ajla Delkić, The Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina


  3. Aldin Aranutović, Journalist


  4. Aleksandar Brezar, Journalist, Translator, Screenwriter


  5. Aleksandra Letić, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska


  6. Amila Buturović, University of York


  7. Ana Knifer, Artist


  8. Association of Victims and Witnesses of Genocide, Bosnia and Herzegovina


  9. Anima NGO, Montenegro


  10. Boris Šiber, Journalist


  11. Borka Pavićević


  12. Branka Prpa, Historian


  13. Center for Civic Education, Montenegro


  14. Center for Cultural Decontamination, Serbia


  15. Center for Monitoring and Research – CeMI, , Montenegro


  16. Center for Protection of Human Rights and Tolerance, Polimlje, Serbia


  17. Civic Action, Serbia


  18. Civic Committee for Human Rights, Croatia


  19. Civil Rights Defenders, Serbia


  20. Cultural center DamaD, Serbia


  21. Čedo Prodanović


  22. Dalibor Tanić, Activist


  23. Danijela Majstorović, University of Banja Luka


  24. Danijela Ranković


  25. Darko Cvijetić, Artist


  26. Denis Cerić, Photographer HINA


  27. Denis Romac, Vice President of Croatian Journalists' Association


  28. Documenta, Croatia


  29. Edin Ramulić, Activist


  30. Edo Popović, Writer


  31. Elvira Mujkić, Activist


  32. Elvis Kušljugić, Activist


  33. Eric Gordy, Professor


  34. Eugen Jakovčić, Centre for Peace Studies


  35. Faik Ispahiu, producer


  36. Faruk Šehić, Writer


  37. Humanitarian Law Center, Serbia


  38. Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo


  39. Forum for Local and Regional Cooperation – FLORES, Serbia


  40. Goran Borković, Editor in chief of the portal Forum


  41. Goran Miletić


  42. Goran Zorić, Activist


  43. Gordana Katana, Journalist


  44. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia


  45. Hrvoje Polan, Photographer


  46. Human Rights Action – HRA, Montenegro


  47. Igor Čoko, Editor in chief, Grain


  48. Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Serbia


  49. Ivana Horvatek, Journalist, Fairpress


  50. Ivica Đikić, Editor in chief, Novosti


  51. Jasmin Mujanović, University of York


  52. Jeta Xharra, journalist


  53. Jim Marshall, Activist and Photographer


  54. Joël Hubrecht, Revue Esprit


  55. Ladislav Tomičić, Journalist and editor in chief of portal Lupiga


  56. Larisa Aganović, Activist


  57. Lejla Bakić, Activist


  58. Lejla Durmišević - Pašalić, Activist


  59. Lejla Omeragić – Ćatić, Activist


  60. Lejla Pašalić, Activist


  61. Ljilja Spasić, Activist


  62. Masha Durkalić, Journalist and Activist


  63. Melisa Skender, Journalist


  64. Melita Vrsaljko, Journalist, Forum


  65. Montenegrin Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights


  66. Mustafa Galijatović


  67. Nataša Kandić


  68. Nerma Jelačić, Commission for International Justice and Accountability


  69. NGO "Babe", Croatia


  70. Nino Bantić, Cameraman AP


  71. Nora Ahmetaj, Consultant on Transitional Justice


  72. NGO NOMEN, Montenegro


  73. The Committee for Human Rights, Leskovac, Serbia


  74. Peščanik, Serbia


  75. Sabina Šabić, Activist


  76. Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms, Serbia


  77. Sanja Despot, Journalist


  78. Sanja Sarvnavka, NGO "Babe"


  79. Saša Leković, President of Croatian Journalists' Association


  80. Saša Kavić, Camerman Reuters


  81. Saša Kosanović, Journalist, HRT


  82. Sladjana Bukovac, Journalist, HRT


  83. Slobodanka Poštić


  84. Snjezana Pavić, Journalist, EPH


  85. Sonia Bakarić, Journalist, AFP Paris


  86. Srđan Dvornik, Independent consultant and translator


  87. Staton Winter, Photographer UN


  88. Tanja Rudež, Journalist, Jutarnji list


  89. Tomislav Jakić, Journalist and former Adviser to Croatian President


  90. Vladimir Lulić, Vice President of Croatian Journalists' Association


  91. Vlatko Čerić


  92. Vojislav Mazzocco, Journalist, Index


  93. Vojvodinian Civic Center, Serbia


  94. Women in Black, Serbia


  95. Women’s Safe House, Montenegro


  96. Ziyah Gafić, Photographer


  97. Zlatko Dizdarević


  98. Zoran Ćatić, Activist


  99. Zoran Ivančić, Activist


  100. Zoran Janković, Cameraman AP


  101. Zoran Kusovac, Journalist


  102. Zrinka Bralo, Activist


  103. Žarka Radoja, Journalist


  104. Žarko Puhovski, Professor

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