OSCE supports international conference on obstacles in prosecuting war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By SMukhametrakhimova

SARAJEVO, 14 May 2016 – Challenges in investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as well as potential solutions to these obstacles was the focus of a conference which concluded today in Sarajevo, having brought together more than 40 members of the judiciary, international law experts, government and diplomatic representatives.

The Conference was organized by the Associations of Victims and Witnesses of Genocide and Movement of Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves, and supported by the OSCE Mission to BiH.

“Victims and witnesses are the most important stakeholders in the criminal justice process and without their participation in the proceedings, there could be no justice for these terrible crimes,” said Fermin Cordoba, Acting Director of the Human Dimension Department at the OSCE Mission to BiH. “The Mission will continue to support the BiH judiciary at all levels to ensure the fair and effective processing of war crimes cases.”

Munira Subasic, President of the Association of Movement of Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves, said: “We need to talk about this issue publicly in order to expedite and improve the processing of these cases.”

Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Serge Brammertz said: “Experiences have taught us that the challenges of war crimes prosecutions can be successfully addressed if there is national ownership of post-conflict justice, appropriately supported by international assistance.”

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina presented findings from its trial monitoring and capacity-building efforts related to the implementation of the National Strategy for War Crimes Processing and reiterated its commitment to continue supporting the strengthening of domestic judicial institutions for the fair and efficient resolution of all remaining war crimes cases.

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