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Bosnian students join together to condemn war crimes

31 October 2012, Brčko

The close co-operation between the ICTY and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republika Srpska continued with a guest lecture given today by the Tribunal’s representative in Bosnia, Almir Alić, at the Advanced School of Human Rights for Youth in Brčko.

In this port city on the Sava River, a group of 20 students from Brčko, Tuzla and Bijeljina gathered to learn about the war crimes committed in Brčko twenty years ago. The students also had the opportunity to visit the Luka camp and other locations in the city in which non-Serb civilians were systematically murdered, tortured, beaten and otherwise mistreated in the spring of 1992. In a corner of the town’s library, the students listened carefully to Almir’s presentation and were unanimous in their condemnation of all the crimes committed across the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia during the wars of the 90s.

Of particular interest to the students were the elements of the presentation dealing with Goran Jelisić and Ranko Češić, sentenced, respectively, to 40 years’ and 18 years’ imprisonment for their crimes in the local area.

The students were particularly interested in hearing about issues relating to the locations where convicted persons serve their sentences. Almir explained that those convicted by the ICTY serve their terms of imprisonment in one of the 17 countries which have signed an Agreement on Enforcement of ICTY Sentences.

After the presentation, one young participant told Almir: "I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed your lecture. You included all of us in your presentation, clearly explained basic concepts of humanitarian law and introduced us in detail to what happened in the Luka camp and Brčko police station. Thank you for teaching us and I hope to have the opportunity to listen to you again when you come to Tuzla."

Applauding the presentation, Tanja Tomić, a Helsinki Committee representative, said that she looked forward to continuing co-operation with the ICTY as her organisation’s series of ‘Schools of Human Rights’ continues.