Today in Sarajevo, during ICTY Legacy Dialogues, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) launched a Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian translation of the book ‘Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence at the ICTY’, edited by Prosecutor Serge Brammertz and Deputy to the Prosecutor Michelle Jarvis.
Prosecutor Serge Brammertz addressed the audience of the ICTY Legacy Dialogues Side Event today expressing his gratitude to the Ambassador of Switzerland, the OSCE Mission to BiH and the President of the International Association of Prosecutors ‘for the support they have extended in making this translation happen’. The Prosecutor also thanked the translators and all those who worked on ensuring the highest quality translation.
The book sets out the experience of the OTP in prosecuting sexual violence crimes during the 24 years of its work and it is now available in the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language for legal professionals dealing with sexual violence crimes in the former Yugoslavia. The book also has many important insights for the international community, NGOs and academics.
The OTP demonstrated that rapes, enslavement, mutilation, and other forms of sexual violence were neither opportunistic nor one-off crimes, but were parts of broader persecutory campaigns within the conflicts, which – like beatings, like killings, like looting - were used to instill fear and force population to flee. The OTP proved that senior officials can be found accountable for sexual violence crimes and demonstrated that sexual violence need not occur on a large scale to be part of a common criminal purpose, or to be considered a crime against humanity or an underlying act of genocide.
During the book launch a special tribute was paid to the courage of victims of sexual crimes who wanted to come to the Tribunal and speak about the details of the horrors they had seen and lived through, because they wanted justice.
2000 copies of the book in Bosnian will be distributed to the legal professionals, law schools, libraries, NGOs and others throughout the former Yugoslavia, and an electronic version will soon be available on the ICTY and MICT websites.