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Youth Outreach Project reaches Montenegrin high schools

Kolašin, 29 April 2014

For the first time since the Youth Outreach Project began in 2011, a presentation on the ICTY has been delivered in a Montenegrin high school. In the first of a series of five lectures, Registry Liaison Officer Morgiana Brading visited the ‘Braća Selić’ school in the town of Kolašin, where she gave a presentation about the work of the Tribunal to a group of 25 students.    

The presentation included an overview of the ICTY’s mandate and achievements, as well as a detailed account of the cases most relevant to the Montenegrin students, namely those related to crimes committed in Dubrovnik, Foča, Srebrenica and Čelebići. When focusing on Foča-related trials, Morgiana took the opportunity to tell the students more about the history of sexual violence in the Balkan conflicts and the role the ICTY has played in prosecuting and defining such violence as a crime under international law.

The students admitted that, before the presentation, they had only heard of a handful of trials held before the ICTY. Yet, in spite of the apparent lack of information, several students expressed negative views of the Tribunal, based on their perception of a bias towards prosecuting Serbs.

However, when discussing the Dubrovnik trials, a number of students said that even though the crimes prosecuted had been committed by members of their own ethnic group, they thought the sentences handed down should have been higher. One student said: "Seven years for such horrible crimes, months of shelling and killing civilians? That seems too lenient."

Morgiana ended the presentation by explaining the Tribunal’s ‘completion strategy’ and the role and mandate of its successor, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.