Thursday, May 29, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 29,2008) – Many perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia continued to evade justice, and thousands of enforced disappearances remained unresolved.Progress was made in the domestic prosecution of war crimes, including in proceedings at the Bosnian State Court, as it is stated in the Report of the Amnesty International on Human Rights in Bosnia in 2007.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) continued to try perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law. Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic died at the Tribunal Detention Unit following a heart attack on 11 March. He had been on trial before the ICTY for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, and for genocide in Bosnia.

Under a 'completion strategy' laid down by the UN Security Council, the ICTY was expected to conclude all cases in 2010. As a result of the tight deadlines imposed by the strategy, the Tribunal continued to refer cases involving lower level perpetrators to national jurisdictions in the former Yugoslavia. In 2006 cases involving seven suspects were transferred to Bosnia.

The War Crimes Chamber within the Bosnian State Court, set up to try particularly sensitive cases or cases referred by the ICTY, issued its first convictions.

According to estimates of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), approximately 13,000 people who went missing during the 1992-95 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia were still unaccounted for. Many of them were victims of enforced disappearances, whose perpetrators enjoyed impunity.

Of an estimated 2.2 million Bosnian citizens displaced during the war, more than a million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) were estimated to have returned to their homes. Progress on returns was limited. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, registered approximately 3,600 returns between January and October. Of these, some 3,000 returned to areas where they were part of a minority community.

Six men of Algerian origin, unlawfully transferred in 2002 by the Bosnian authorities to US custody, remained in detention in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In April, following a complaint by the wife of one of the detainees, Hadj Boudellaa, the Human Rights Commission within the Bosnian Constitutional Court concluded that the Bosnian authorities had failed to implement a 2002 decision of the Bosnian Human Rights Chamber in the case.

They had failed to use diplomatic channels to protect the rights of the detainee, provide him with consular support, and take all necessary steps to ensure he would not be subjected to the death penalty, including by demanding from the US government for guarantees to that effect.

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