The series of presentations about the work and achievements of the Tribunal held in Croatian high schools was concluded today with the visit to the Serb Orthodox Grammar School “Kantakuzina Katarina Branković” in Zagreb. During this cycle a total of 14 presentations were held by members of Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Croatia (YIHR HR), following a training by representatives of the ICTY’s Outreach Programme.
The presentation in the Serb Orthodox Grammar School was attended by 36 students and their history and geography teacher Samir Hasanagić. The students had the opportunity to hear about transitional justice, the classification of crimes committed during war, the historical and political context in which ICTY was established as well as the importance of its developed jurisprudence in the context of its contribution to international justice. Special attention was given to cases held before the ICTY which dealt with crimes committed in Škabrnja, Dubrovnik, Vukovar, Zagreb and during the operation “Storm”.
The students listened attentively and asked numerous questions showing great interest for the topic of accountability of war crimes committed in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The discussions included the importance of ICTY and its impact on current ethnic relations in Croatia and the region. Although the students were critical towards the ICTY, they recognised the importance of holding those most responsible accountable for war crimes. They stated that there was a need to organise such presentations because the general public and the educational system are biased when dealing with information about the war. They also voiced their opinion that through a higher quality of education further hatred and xenophobia could be prevented, especially among the young people.
The ICTY’s Outreach Programme will continue holding presentations during 2016 in high schools throughout BiH, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro, while the next cycle of presentations in Croatian high schools is planned for the second half of 2016.