bosnia report
No. 19 June - August 1997
 
Mr President; Order the Arrest of War Criminals in Bosnia Now!

Coalition for International Justice
740 Fifteenth Street NW · Washington DC 20005-1009 · 202.662.1599 · coalition@clj.org

The
Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

15 July, 1997

Dear Mr President:

During the savage war against Bosnia - half a century after the civilised world declared that it would 'never again' allow genocide to occur - over 200,000 men, women and children were slaughtered in the heart of Europe in a genocidal rampage euphemistically referred to as 'ethnic cleansing'. Thousands of women were herded into camps where they were systematically raped as a part of a larger campaign designed to humiliate, subjugate, and ultimately to destroy the Bosnian nation. Many more people were tortured or forced to flee for their lives.

Some of the many men believed to have organized and committed these crimes have been indicted as war criminals by the International War Crimes Tribunal, which was established by the United Nations with the active support of the United States. Thanks also to leadership by the United States, the Dayton Accords empower NATO peacekeeÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌ`ping troops deployed by Bosnia (SFOR) to arrest indicted perpetrators of these crimes whenever and wherever they encounter them. Yet, despite numerous such encounters and our intimate knowledge of where most of these men live and work, only one indictee has thus far been apprehended by these troops.

The undersigned organizations represent millions of Americans across the United States. We are deeply distressed that indicted war criminals are living free and with impunity, while American soldiers - the largest contingent of the NATO force - have apparently been denied the authority to make arrests. By pursuing such a policy, the United States may have been colluding in the protection of individuals charged with war crimes. We are encouraged by the recent arrest in Prijedor by British NATO troops and sincerely hope that this represents the beginning of a new, more aggressive policy by SFOR. We call upon you Mr President, to exert your leadership and take whatever diplomatic measures are necessary to ensure that the U.S.-led NATO forces in Bosnia meet their moral obligation to bring the rest of these men to justice without delay.

We are hopeful that a commitment by the United States to fulfil this mandate will persuade our allies to complete the task of arresting all war-crimes indictees now in Bosnia, especially the architects of the genocide. If our allies are unwilling, however, the United States must take the lead, accept the risk of confrontation, and act on its own.

It is futile to repeatedly state that the countries of the former Yugoslavia should arrest their own war criminals; it is clear they have no such intention. And so long as war criminals are at large an justice is not done the wounds of war cannot heal, refugees cannot return to their homes, and reconciliation, lasting peace and a civil society cannot be achieved in Bosnia. A successful exit for U.S. troops will not be possible, and their many good works will have been wasted, if they leave behind a country in which persons indicted for war crimes continue to wield significant power and make a mockery of the rule of law.

Mr President, at the dedication of the Holocaust Museum you reiterated the pledge 'never again' to permit genocide. If the War Crimes Tribunal and the quest for peace in Bosnia should fail because U.S.-led NATO troops are unwilling to apprehend indicted perpetrators of crimes against humanity, the civilized world will have lost the opportunity to restore some credence to this tarnished pledge. We appeal to you not to allow this to happen.

Sincerely,

Organisations
AFL-CIO
AFSCME; American Federation of State,
  County, Municipal Employees
Action Council for Peace in the Balkans
African Methodist Episcopal Church,
  Commission on Missions
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American Association of University Women
American Baptist Churches USA, International
  Ministries, Africa, Europe and Middle East Desk
American Indian Heritage Foundation
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Kurdish Information Network
American Muslim Council
American Nurses Association
Amnesty International, USA
Anti-Defamation League
Arab American Institute
B'nai B'rith
Business and Professional Women, USA
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Church World Service
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Columban Fathers' Justice and Peace Office,
  Washington DC.
Communications Workers of America
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Episcopal Church, USA
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
  Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
&nÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌ`bsp; Lutheran Office for World Community
Evangelicals for Social Action
Feminist Majority
Friends of Bosnia
Hadassah
Hispanic National Bar Association
Human Rights Watch
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  Human Rights Commission
International Campaign for Tibet
Institute for Public Affairs of the Orthodox Union
Jesuit Refugee Services
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Women International
Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers,
  Justice and Peace Office
Maryknoll Sisters, Office of Social Concerns
Ms. Foundation for Women
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslim Women's League
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
National Association of Arab Americans
National Association of Social Workers
National Coalition for Haitian Rights
National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Churches
National Council of Churches, Justice for
  Women Working Group
National Council of Churches, Racial
  Justice Working Group
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Negro Women, Inc
National Hispanic Leadership Institute
National Organization for Women
North American Council for Muslim Women
Older Women's League
Physicians for Human Rights
Project on African Americans in
  International Law
Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Council of America
Refugees International
SAGE; Students Against Genocide
Simon Wiesenthal Centre
SPEAR: Sigma Public Education and
  Research Foundation of Sigma Gamma Rho Society
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
UNITE: Union of Needletrades, Industrial
  and Textile Employees
United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ
United Church Board for World Ministries
United Food and Commercial Workers
  International Union
United Methodist Church, Women's Div,
  General Board of Global Ministries
US Committee for Refugees
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
Women for Meaningful Summits
Women of Reform Judaism
Women's Commission for Refugee
Women and Children
Y.W.C.A.
Individuals
(Organization attribution for identification only)
Morris Abram, former US Ambassador
  at the United Nations
Morton Abramowitz, former US Ambassador
  to Turkey
Bert B. Beach, Vice President, International
  Religious Liberty Association and
  General Secretary, Council on Inter-
  Church Relations, General Conference
  of Seventh Day Adventists
Michael Berenbaum, President and C.E.O.
  Survivors of the Shoah Visual History
  Foundation
Edmond L. Browning, Presiding Bishop of the   Episcopal Church, USA
Hodding Carter III, former Asst. Secretary of
  State
Charles F Dambach, President National   Peace Corps Association
Patt Derian, former Assistant Secretary of
  State for Human Rights
Paula Dobriansky, former Director of
  European and Soviet Affairs,
  National Security Council
Michael J. Dodd, Columban Fathers' Justice
  and Peace Office
Robert J. Dole, former US Senate Majority Leader
Bianca Jagger, human rights activist
Max M Kampelman, former US Ambassador
  for NegotiaÌÌÌÌÌÌÌÌ`tions on Nuclear and Space Arms
Reverend Ted Keating, Director for Justice
  and Peace, Catholic Conference of
  Major Superiors and of Men's Institutes
Paul Nitze, former Ambassador-at-Large
  and Special Advisor to the President
  on Arms Control
Owen Roberts, Dayton Accords negotiator
David Saperstein, Director, Religious
  Action Center of Reform Judaism
George Shultz, former Secretary of State
John Silber, President, Boston University
Susan Sontag, author, director, literary
  theorist, and human rights activist
Roberta Wohlsteller, historian and author,
  holder of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Miriam Young, Executive Director, Asia
  Pacific Center for Justice and Peace

To support the work of the Coalition for International Justice and help defray the cost of this ad, please write to us at : 740 Fifteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20005-1009 or e-mail coalition@clj.org or call : (202) 662-1595

The Coalition for International Justice is a 501(c3) organisation that provides support for the work of the International War Crimes Tribunals, Contributions are tax-deductible.

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