The Srebrenica Memorial Center called on Bosnia’s Chief Prosecutor, Gordana Tadic, to present to the public a report on the progress made in determining responsibility for the genocide in Srebrenica, the results achieved in investigations and prosecution of those responsible.
In the request, the Memorial Center argued that impunity regarding the genocide in Srebrenica encourages “open actions against the victims and their families” by those who deny that the 1995 genocide took place.
“How is it possible that thousands of members of the army, police, municipal officials, foreign volunteers took part in the genocidal operation in July 1995, and that the number of those convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and crimes against civilians in July 1995 is fewer than 100 people – in all courts, including the one in The Hague, even the one in Belgrade,” the statement said.
The scope of the crimes and the number of victims in Srebrenica indicate that “in this case the highest degree of impunity of perpetrators is recorded in relation to other crimes committed in the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia,” it said.
While everyone in the international and domestic public is talking about the need to adopt a Law on Prohibition of Genocide Denial, the current practice shows that there will be nobody to implement such a law and sanction those who violate it even if it is passed, the Memorial Center said.
It said that the families of those killed in the Srebrenica genocidal operation continue to face discrimination and abuse by extremist organizations, local authorities and the interior ministry of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, without any reactions coming from the state prosecutor's office.
“The Prosecutor's Office of BiH has never initiated an investigation into the criminal offence of public incitement or incitement to national, racial or religious hatred, discord or intolerance among constituent peoples and others, against persons who publicly and openly deny genocide and insult victims and families of genocide victims,” it said.
The Memorial Center urged the Prosecutor’s Office to focus on determining responsibility for war crimes, locations of mass graves and proving the connections of the political and military hierarchy of the regime in the RS with the wartime prison camps and mass graves.
“We can state with regret that in the past few years, the process of criminal prosecution for genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law has practically ceased to exist. Mass murderers roam freely in towns and villages in eastern Bosnia, including those about which the Prosecutor's Office of BiH has or can very easily obtain information from the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Courts in The Hague,” it said.
The Memorial Center reminded that the families of the victims never found out what happened with the allegations against current RS Prime Minister, Radovan Viskovic, who according to media reports from last year could have provided support for the war crimes in Srebrenica.
“Will they finally get this information – did the Prosecutor's Office investigate this and what did it find? The current silence only indicates that cases like these have been put on the backburner, without an epilogue – neither for the perpetrators nor for the victims,” it said.