The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) would like to highlight that the legally binding verdict of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals confirmed that Radovan Karadžić is guilty for the genocide in Srebrenica and war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Serbia, Serbian institutions and officials must stop denying the genocide in Srebrenica and cannot continue disregarding other war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina; they must adopt the Declaration about the genocide in Srebrenica and express utmost respect for the victims of the genocide and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Serban authorities, society and political agents need to decisively stand against the glorification of war criminals and the relativization of war crimes, something that was demonstrated today by the daily newspaper “Večernje Novosti” – they published the aphorisms of Radovan Karadžić and a letter written by convicted war criminal Nebojša Pavković on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing. Verdicts such as the one for Karadžić must become a stepping stone, urging all states in the region to allow for victims to be heard through institutions, and for all nationalist programs to be condemned.

The Initiative would like to indicate that with this verdict, the individual criminal accountability of Radovan Karadžić has been reconfirmed, which must be separated from the fallacious belief that court sentences for political, army and police leaders equate a judgment for the Serbian people in its entirety, The Republic of Serbia, Republic of Srpska as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina as an entity.

War criminals are not our heroes. Glorifying war criminals means glorifying the crimes they have committed.

Photo: Zoran Lesic