The latest documentary of the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme, Crimes before the ICTY – Višegrad, had its English-language premiere on Friday last week in the Humanity House in The Hague. The film chronicles the story of the judicial response to the ethnic cleansing that swept the town of Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992.
The screening was attended by diplomats, representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, academics and members of the Bosnian diaspora. Welcoming the guests, the Head of the ICTY’s Communications Service Eldar Subašić pointed out that the goal of the Outreach Programme was to “explain the Tribunal’s work and make it relevant to the people whose lives have been directly affected by the crimes under the ICTY jurisdiction – and, we hope, assist them in rebuilding their communities.”
Following the screening, the audience engaged in a question-and-answer session with the makers of the documentary. Explaining that the documentary tells the story of the crimes committed in Višegrad through the testimonies of victims and witnesses, court judgments and interviews with key actors in the proceedings, producer Steve Coulson said that he hoped that “the work of the Tribunal and its presentation through such films can help to bring a sense of justice to the victims."
Petar Finci, Outreach documentary producer, pointed out that six years after the first Outreach documentary was screened, the films are being used as educational tools in classrooms from Argentina to South Africa to the former Yugoslavia.
Crimes before the ICTY: Višegrad is the fifth in a series of documentary films produced by the ICTY’s Outreach Programme, in an attempt to bring the work and achievements of the Tribunal closer to audiences in the former Yugoslavia and around the world. It was previously screened in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Belgrade, Serbia.
The screening of the Višegrad documentary formed part of the ICTY Legacy Dialogues, a series of events organised to facilitate debates about the court’s work and achievements as the Tribunal is approaching the completion of its mandate.
The Outreach Programme is generously supported by the European Union.