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Serbian students keen to discuss the ICTY’s work

Sombor, 18 May 2012

Around 45 students from the third and fourth years of the Veljko Petrović Gymnasium in the Serbian town of Sombor today attended a presentation on the work of the Tribunal given by Outreach representative Morgiana Brading.

Sombor is very close to the border with Croatia and the region is heavily populated by refugees from the Balkan conflicts. In addition, there is a large Hungarian presence in the area and the school offers lessons in both Serbian and Hungarian.

The young people were immediately keen to engage with Morgiana and actively participated in a discussion about the Tribunal’s mandate. They were particularly interested in the legal differences between certain types of crimes.

One student had a question about the ICTY’s general sentencing policy, and another wanted to know what the longest possible sentence was. Morgiana explained that the Tribunal can convict people to life imprisonment, and pointed out that the only confirmed life sentence so far had come against Stanislav Galić for the part he played in the siege of Sarajevo.

Some of the students explained that they were refugees from Bratunac in Bosnia and Herzegovina and asked if any indictments for crimes committed against Serbs in Srebrenica had ever been raised. Morgiana quickly explained about the trial of Naser Orić – who was eventually acquitted of any wrongdoing by the Appeals Chamber – before the students had to reluctantly head to their next class.