Srebrenica women expressed their deep dissatisfaction over the court decision sentencing a former Bosnian Serb forces' officer Ostoja Stanisic to five years in prison for committing the criminal offence of genocide in July 1995 in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
During their regular protest held every 11th day in a month in the city of Tuzla, which they hold in a memory of the Srebrenica genocide victims, Srebrenica women said they were stricken by the court decision but that also nothing could surprise them anymore.
Stanisic and his deputy Marko Milosevic, who was acquitted of all charges, were charged with the murder of 800 Srebrenica residents in July 1995 near Zvornik, where Stanisic served as a commander of a battalion in the Bosnian Serb forces and Milosevic as his deputy.
Srebrenica women said the Court was corrupt and full of irregularities, which hurts the victims' families.
“And, we really trust in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we were always saying this was the second Hague Tribunal. We want more foreign judges in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who would be more objective and impartial,” said deputy chairwoman of the 'Women of Srebrenica' association Nura Begovic.
On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian enclave and rounded up the town’s Muslim Bosniaks, separated men from women and little children and systematically executed some 8,000 men and boys. The bodies of the victims were buried in a large number of mass graves. Forensic experts excavated them and identified the bones through DNA analysis before returning the bodies to the families for interment on July 11 at the Memorial Centre’s cemetery.
The International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice later ruled that the massacre was an act of genocide.
The court ruling in the Stanisic case was a disappointment, said Srebrenica women.
“They really do want everything to be forgotten. We, the families, have been fighting for justice for the past 20 years but seeing our courts, prosecutor's offices and institutions, we're not likely to see that justice. They betrayed us and this is not the first such ruling,” said the association chairwoman, Hajra Catic.