bosnia report
New Series No. 6/7 September - December 1998
Pinochet as Precedent

Pinochet's arrest must be followed through and further measures immediately undertaken so that his arrest and trial set an international precedent. There could be no better follow-up than the speedy arrest of Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb war criminals indicted in July of 1995 for 'Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and Violations of the Law or Customs of War' by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. This should be followed by the issuing of an international arrest warrant for their mentor, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, against whom there exists an overwhelming prima facie case for indictment on similar charges. Over three years have elapsed since the warrants were issued for Karadzic and Mladic. They remain at large owing to the refusal of 'peacekeeping' troops in Bosnia to take the step that Britain has now taken against Pinochet. Milosevic, who was publicly named by the US Acting Secretary of State in 1992 as a suspected war criminal, is not only free but remains the privileged interlocutor of Western governments intent on imposing 'peace' at any price on his victims. For those who failed to learn the bloody lessons of the war against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the burning fields of Kosovo should serve as a reminder of the consequences of letting crimes against humanity go unpunished. International law gives democratic society the means to defend itself against barbarism. What is now needed is simply the courage to act.

From Statement by International Union of Food Workers (Geneva)

The doctrine of sovereign immunity would mean that if Milosevic comes here, if other dictators come here, under the present law they probably could shelter under this doctrine.

Donald Anderson MP, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons.

It would be preposterous to let off a head of state and not his lieutenants.

International Commission of Jurists


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