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Outreach Programme documentary on crimes in Prijedor premieres in Novi Sad, Belgrade and Sarajevo

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 19 April 2013

Outreach Programme documentary on crimes in Prijedor premieres in Novi Sad, Belgrade and Sarajevo

The second in a series of ICTY Outreach Programme’s documentaries premiered this week in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Screenings of "Crimes before the ICTY: Prijedor"in Novi Sad, Belgrade and Sarajevo attracted over 150 guests, made up of government authorities, diplomats, NGO representatives and journalists.

Commenting on the value of the documentary, ICTY President Judge Theodor Meron said: “As the work of the Tribunal draws to a close it is important that its work be available in forms that are accessible to a wide range of audiences. The Outreach Programme’s documentary series is an important step towards ensuring that accessibility.”

The documentary focuses on the cases heard by the Tribunal concerning crimes that occurred in the area of Prijedor. Through testimonies of victims, and by reference to documentary material used as evidence in the court proceedings, the film tells the story of the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of war crimes committed in Prijedor.

Milena Dragić, a TV Vojvodina journalist who attended the premiere in Novi Sad, said: “Although I try to attend events dealing with crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia as often as possible, I was shocked by the fact that in Prijedor there were camps similar to those run during Word War II.”

The screening in Belgrade was followed by a panel discussion involving Nerma Jelačić, Head of ICTY Communication Services; Petar Finci, the film’s director and producer from the ICTY Outreach Programme; and representatives of the Heartefact Fund.

The panelists discussed the importance of establishing the facts about crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and of transitional justice measures. They emphasised the importance of making the Tribunal’s work accessible to ensure a better future for the generations to come.

Nataša Govedarica, the Project Coordinator of the Heartefact Fund who attended the screening of the documentary in Belgrade, said: “I am glad that the ICTY recognised the importance of conducting outreach and of its rich archive that will remain after the end of its work. I appreciate the effort made by Tribunal to present the established facts to the public.”

Anisa Sućeska Vekić, Director of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina remarked after the premiere in Sarajevo that: “Outreach has produced a very emotional and educational documentary that explains the complicated investigations of the crimes that occurred in Prijedor. Most importantly, it tells the story of those who survived this horror. The testimonies are very touching and their importance immeasurable. I hope this documentary will be just one in a series that will enable future generations to learn about the facts established by the Tribunal”.

The documentary, which is available in English and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), will be distributed to victim organisations, schools and partner NGOs in the former Yugoslavia and beyond, with a broadcast on main regional TV stations planned for this year.

Crimes Before the ICTY: Prijedor” is the second feature-length documentary produced by the Outreach Programme. Its first documentary on the Tribunal’s historic role in the prosecution and adjudication of wartime sexual violence premiered last year across the former Yugoslavia.

The production of documentaries forms part of the Tribunal’s efforts to make available information that was discerned from cases presented before the ICTY and to raise awareness and understanding of the crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.