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"

(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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