Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mladić verdict “an historic day for international justice”

Responding to the decision by the Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals to confirm the original verdict and sentence Ratko Mladić, the commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, to life imprisonment for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Nils Muižnieks said:

“Today’s decision is a historic moment which concludes a decades-long search for justice for the tens of thousands of victims of the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Today’s decision is a historic moment which concludes a decades-long search for justice for the tens of thousands of victims of the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nils Muižnieks, Amnesty International

“Ratko Mladić has been found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the most serious crimes under international law committed on European soil since the Second World War, and this verdict sends a powerful message around the world that impunity cannot, and will not, be tolerated.

It is important to remember that thousands of cases of enforced disappearances remain unresolved
Amnesty International

“Whilst this sentence will bring some closure to the surviving victims and their relatives, the physical and psychological scars will remain. It is important to remember that thousands of cases of enforced disappearances remain unresolved, and many thousands of victims and their families continue to be denied access to justice, truth and reparation.

It is now vital that the national courts take the baton and step up their efforts to bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials
Amnesty International

“The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has helped bring a measure of justice to thousands of victims of the armed conflicts in former Yugoslavia and demonstrated what is possible when the international community comes together. It is now vital that the national courts take the baton and step up their efforts to bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials.”

Background

Ratko Mladić was sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in November 2017, with The Hague court recognising his individual criminal responsibility as Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, and his participation in joint criminal enterprises, including to terrorise the population of Sarajevo and eliminate Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. 

The Appeals Chamber confirmed the original verdict pronounced by ICTY which found Mladic guilty on 10 of 11 counts, including genocide and persecution on ethnic and religious grounds of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, as well as extermination, murder, deportation and other inhumane acts. He was also convicted of murder, terror, unlawful attacks on civilians and the taking of hostages. Mladić was acquitted of the charge of genocide in six of municipalities in BiH in 1992.

The Appeals Chamber rejected the appeals filed by Mr Mladić and the Prosecution.