Hague president pays respects to victims

President of the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) Theodor Meron is in Bosnia-Herzegovina where he paid respects to Serb victims of the former prison camp in Čelebići.

Source: Tanjug

During the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, members of the Muslim-dominated Bosnian army ran a detention camp in there for Serb prisoners.

"I am here to pay my respects to the victims of cruel and brutal acts committed in the Čelebići camp more than two decades ago," Meron said in a press statement.

The ICTY president said that while touring the former detention camp he could feel even now the suffering of those who were held prisoners there.

According to the available data, at least 400 Serbs were held in inhumane conditions at the Čelebići camp, where 19 of them were murdered.

My visit to this site highlights the significance of the Tribunal's work for the sanctioning of individual criminal responsibility, as a contribution to the world where the rule of law is of utmost importance, said Meron.

He voiced hope that the work of the ICTY will help strengthen the rule of law and that the suffering such as the one that Čelebići victims survived will never happen again.

Three former members of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Army were prosecuted by ICTY for the crimes against Serb prisoners in the Čelebići camp and final judgments were rendered in 2003.

Hazim Delić was sentenced to 18 years, Esad Landzo to 15, and Zdravko Mucić to nine years in prison.

Meron was asked by the Croatian news agency HINA to comment on the provisional release of Vojislav Šešelj that caused a stir in Croatia, but he refused, saying, "I am here to pay my respects to the victims of Čelebići camp and not to discuss other issues."

After Čelebići, Meron visited the village of Uzdol near Prozor, where members of the Bosnian army killed 41 Croats - 29 civilians and 12 soldiers of the Croat Defense Council (HVO), the local media reported.

On September 14, 1993, members of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Army stormed the village killing everyone in sight, and plundered and set on fire their houses.

No one has yet been held responsible for this crime.


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