Support to War Crimes Trials

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On September 16 this year a regional conference on war crimes trials was held in Belgrade with the aim of calling on the governments in the region and general public to provide support to war crimes trials as the key instrument in coming to terms with the past.

The conference participants stressed the need for a better regional cooperation and encouraging witnesses to come out and speak about what they saw or experienced. Besides that, they stressed the importance of establishment of a residual mechanism at the Hague, which will, among other things, make sure that fugitives will be processed and serve their imprisonment sentences.

The participants paid special attention to problems related to protection of witnesses, who have not been institutionally accepted. This happens not only in Serbia, but in the entire region too.

Anisa Suceska-Vekic, Director of BIRN Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke about war crimes trials and the need for public support, as well as the relation of media towards this issue that has a historical importance.

Besides judges and prosecutors from the region, representatives of international and local NGOs, who follow war crimes processing, took part at the conference.

The conference was organized by the Humanitarian Law Center from Belgrade, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights with the OSCE in Serbia and BIRN BiH.