Arresting Ratko Mladić Is Serbia’s Moral Obligation

Arresting Ratko Mladić Is Serbia’s Moral Obligation

Fifteen years have passed since the genocide in Srebrenica and the major culprit of that crime, Ratko Mladić, is still at large. This is a moral mortgage that prevents us from moving forwards. New generations are held hostage to this mortgage; new generations are held hostage to the Serbian Government’s lack of readiness to fulfill its obligations toward not only the Hague Tribunal but also, first and foremost, its moral commitments toward the victims and Serbia’s future.

Srebrenica provoked an unequivocal moral condemnation the world over. The International Court of Justice pronounced a verdict in the lawsuit, launched by Bosnia and Herzegovina, ruling that genocide was committed in Srebrenica and holding Serbia responsible for failing to prevent it. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has also passed several verdicts that confirm the genocide in Srebrenica. There are several ongoing cases before this court – against Radovan Karadžić, Momčilo Perišić, Franko Simatović and Jovica Stanišić – who are standing trial for the genocide not only in Srebrenica but also in other parts of Bosnia. The European Parliament has adopted a Declaration that proclaims July 11 Srebrenica Remembrance Day.

Recently, in accordance with the International Court of Justice verdict, Serbia adopted a declaration condemning the Srebrenica crime, thus accepting its responsibility. This is an important step in acknowledging this crime, but it is not fully convincing without the arrest of Ratko Mladić.

Therefore, we demand that the Serbian Government arrest Ratko Mladić without delay and extradite him to the Hague Tribunal. Hesitation would represent further discrediting of the Serbian Government and diminish the possibility for Serbia to present itself to the world as responsible for its actions, present and past. The arrest of Ratko Mladić would not undo the Srebrenica crime, but it would show that Serbia possesses sensitivity and empathy towards the victims who need and expect the satisfaction of justice. Equally important, Serbia would show responsibility towards its own future.

  • Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
  • YUCOM – Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights
  • Fund for an Open Society
  • Civic Initiatives
  • Independent Association of Journalists of Vojvodina
  • Centre for Cultural Decontamination
  • Women in Black
  • Incest Trauma Centar-Beograd
  • Centar za regionalizam, Novi Sad
  • Zelena mreza Vojvodine, Novi Sad
  • Centar za mir i razvoj demokratije
  • Centar za gradjansko delovanje
  • Kulturni Centar DamaD
  • Ekoloska gradjanska inicijativa
  • Udruženje građana „POLIS FEST”
  • Nedeljnjik “Kikindske”
  • Humanitarno udruzenje “Romsko srce”
  • Centar za ljudska prava-Nis
  • PAAD centar
  • NVO NEC-RP – Kragujevac
  • Praxis
  • Centar za informativnu pomoc – CIP Humana
  • Sandzacki odbor za zastitu ljudskih prava i sloboda, Novi Pazar
  • Vojvodjanski klub, Novi Sad
  • Argus – Civilno udruženje Mađara u Vojvodini za prava manjina
  • Glas razlike
  • Rekonstrukcija Zenski fond
  • Regionalni centar za manjine
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