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‘We must never forget the crimes or the victims’

Ilok, 25 April 2013

Morgiana Brading and Goran Georgijev from the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme today visited the high school in Croatia’s easternmost town, Ilok, where they introduced the work and achievements of the ICTY to a group of around 30 students.

The students were largely unfamiliar with the work of the Tribunal. One pupil said: “Listening to this presentation made me realise just how much I didn’t know about the Balkan conflicts, the crimes committed or the ICTY.”

Following the presentation, the students asked a number of questions, and young girl shared a little of own family’s experiences of having to leave the town in 1991: “It was very difficult because they could not all leave together, my mother told me. My aunt left first but my mother did not want to leave my grandmother who was old and frail. Eventually my grandmother died from the effect the conflict had on her.”

At the conclusion of the event, the students expressed their appreciation for the presentation and said they felt they had learned a lot, but they were generally downbeat when asked about the possibilities for reconciliation in the region.

“There is no hope for that. But one thing we have to do is never forget, we mustn’t forget the crimes and the victims,” one student said.