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The Hague, 13 October 2004
Foca Conference ''Bridging The Gap Between The Icty and Communities in Bosnia And Herzegovina''
On Saturday, 9 October 2004, The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska and the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme held a conference in Foca, Bosnia and Herzegovina, entitled "ICTY Cases in Relation to War Crimes Committed in Foca".
The event enabled the Tribunal to provide key audiences in Foca – victims’ associations, municipal authorities, judicial officials and law enforcement agencies, as well as local politicians and civil society representatives – with a detailed and comprehensive picture of the Tribunal’s activities in relation to allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law in Foca during the 1992-1995 armed conflict.
Senior ICTY officials who were involved in Foca-related cases described the investigations conducted, outlined the strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor and the evidence presented during trials, as well as the facts established.
The conference was the second in a series entitled "Bridging the Gap Between the ICTY and Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" in which the Tribunal deals directly with the immediate communities most affected by the crimes at the heart of ICTY cases. The two cases, Kunarac et al. and Krnojelac were the major focus of the Foca conference.
The Kunarac et al. case proved beyond reasonable doubt that rape was used as an instrument of terror by members of the Bosnian Serb armed forces and that the accused took an active role in this campaign. All of the accused were found guilty are currently serving sentences for the following crimes:
· 28 years’ imprisonment
· Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – torture; rape; enslavement)
· 20 years’ imprisonment
· Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – rape; outrages upon personal dignity)
· Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – enslavement; rape)
· 12 years’ imprisonment
· Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – torture; rape)
· Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – torture; rape)
In the Krnojelac case the accused was found guilty of the following crimes:
· 15 years’ imprisonment
· Persecutions (crimes against humanity for the imprisonment of non-Serb civilians at the KP Dom in Foca, and for the inhumane acts committed against them) and of cruel treatment;
· Violations of the laws or customs of war for the detention conditions imposed on the non-Serb prisoners;
· Crimes against humanity (forced labour, deportations and expulsions as crimes against humanity);
· Crimes against humanity (torture and murders) and violations of the laws or customs of war (torture and murders);
The conference also emphasised the strategic importance of Foca to the wartime Bosnian Serb leadership and the fact that the events in Foca feature prominently in indictments against political leaders such as Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, Radovan Karadzic and also Slobodan Milosevic.
In all the presentations, ICTY representatives echoed Bosnian public sentiment in calling on local authorities to conduct their own investigations and to bring additional charges where evidence exists regarding the many crimes committed in the Foca region.
This series of events is generously supported by the "Neighbourhood Programme" of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The next event is scheduled to take place during the course of November 2004 concerning the so-called "Celebici" case.
CD ROM’s provided to conference attendees are available in Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian (BCS) and English upon request to the Outreach Programme. Similar CD ROM's are also available from the Brcko event.
An independent production company produced a documentary on the Brcko conference and BCS copies can be provided upon request to the Outreach Programme.
The ICTY Outreach Programme is a United Nations Trust Fund generously supported by voluntary contributions provided by the European Commission
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
Tel.: +31-70-512-8752; 512-5343; 512-5356 Fax: +31-70-512-5355 - Email: press [at] icty.org ()
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