|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)||
The Hague, 06 May 2011
ICTY Witness Support Providers Meet With Local Counterparts
Victims and witnesses support providers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today held a meeting in Belgrade with about 20 of their counterparts from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, to share experiences of working with witnesses and victims as part of war crimes cases.
This is the first regional meeting of witness support providers to take place as part of the War Crimes Justice Project (WCJP). Participants discussed and shared experiences on different models of witness support systems in the region, the development of the witness support after trials, and experiences of witness testifying before national courts and ICTY.
Commenting on the meeting, the Serbian Minister of Justice Snežana Malović said: “The protection of witnesses is of crucial importance in war crimes cases, given the sensitive nature of the cases. If we know that testifying in war crimes cases can have serious life threatening consequences, then it is our joint obligation to provide complete protection to all witnesses.”
“The region has to do all possible to provide full protection for war crimes witnesses on all levels, as the guarantee of their safety is key in determining the truth and is a necessary measure and precondition for reaching justice and reconciliation,” added Malović.
Robert Adams, the War Crimes Justice Project Coordinator, highlighted the important role of civil society: “Providing effective and comprehensive support to witnesses testifying in war crimes cases requires co-operation of multiple actors, including civil society. With this meeting we hope to contribute to fostering ties between various witness support services.”
The War Crimes Justice Project is a 4-million euro regional project funded by the European Union and carried out by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) in partnership with the ICTY, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and OSCE field operations.
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For more information please call Ms. Sanela Tunović, War Crimes Justice Project Outreach Officer at ++387 61 539 535 or email at wcjp [at] odihr.pl
For more information on the War Crimes Justice Project please visit http://www.icty.org/sid/240
War Crimes Justice Project Partners
This project is funded by
the European Union