Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 23 November 2004
"BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE ICTY AND COMMUNITIES IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA"
On Saturday, 20 November 2004, The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska and the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme held a conference in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, entitled "ICTY Cases in Relation to War Crimes Committed in Konjic".
The event enabled the Tribunal to provide key audiences – 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 Konjic
during the 1992-1995 armed conflict.
The focus of the conference was on the Celebici case, which concerned allegations of crimes committed in 1992 against Bosnian Serb detainees in a prison camp located in the Konjic municipality. Senior ICTY officials who were involved in that case described the investigations into the crimes in question, the evidence presented before the court, and the facts that were established
during the trial.
The Tribunal representatives made extensive use of video recordings of witness testimonies to explain to the audience how allegations of killings, torture, rape, inhumane conditions and unlawful confinement of civilians were proven before the court. In the Celebici case, three defendants – Zdravko Mucic, Hazim Delic and Esad Landžo – were found guilty of Grave Breaches of the 1949
Geneva Conventions and sentenced to 9, 18 and 15 years of imprisonment, respectively. Zejnil Delalic was acquitted of all charges.
Reactions of the conference audience highlighted the need to bring to justice perpetrators of all crimes, regardless of the nationality of the victims or the perpetrators. By presenting its work to the local community, the Tribunal hopes to encourage the domestic authorities to act upon information regarding violations of international humanitarian law received from victims and
witnesses and to bring additional charges where evidence exists regarding crimes committed in the Konjic region.
The conference was the third 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.
This series of events is generously supported by the "Neighbourhood Programme" of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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 and Foca events.
The ICTY Outreach Programme is a United Nations Trust Fund generously supported by voluntary contributions provided by the European Commission.