'Mladic must answer for these crimes': Former Bosnian Serb general awaits war crimes verdict

'Mladic must answer for these crimes': Former Bosnian Serb general awaits war crimes verdict
From CBC - November 21, 2017

EnesParatusic, who wastortured, beaten, and nearly starved to deathyears ago during the Bosnian war, saystrue justice for RatkoMladicwould beforcing him to live near thegraves of his victims.

"They should build a house there for him and let him live with those people. Let him look at that," said the Hamilton, Ont., resident.

"He does not deserve to be killed. It's too good, too fast."

On Wednesday, the 74-year-old former Serbian general, arrested in 2011 and put on trial a year later, will learn his fate when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslaviadelivers its sentence in The Hague.

Butcher of Bosnia

Known as the "Butcher of Bosnia,"Mladic faces life in prison ifconvicted,charged with 11 counts of genocide and war crimes for the 1992-95 war's worst atrocities. TheUN's case information sheet says that includesthe detention of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats calculated "to bring about their physical destruction," and the slaughter by his troops of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

"Ratko Mladic must answer for these crimes. As the most senior officerof the Bosnian Serb Army, Mladicmust be held accountable for these crimes,"saidDavidPettigrew, a philosophyprofessor at Southern Connecticut State University and member of theBosnian-American Genocide Institute and Education Center.

Mladic's trial lasted 530 days, includednearly 600 witnesses and just under 10,000 exhibits. It is the last major case for the Netherlands-based tribunal, which was set up in 1993 to prosecute those most responsible for the worst carnage in Europe since World War II.

"The broad and comprehensive nature ofMladic'sindictment holds the possibility of providing justice for those who did not survive inSrebrenica, but also inPrijedor,Foca, Sarajevo, and in virtually every town and in every place of pain," Pettigrew said.

"Such a judgment becomes one of the most important ways to respond to the memory of the victims and to the suffering of the survivors."

'Lost my friends'

For Paratusic, Mladic stole 20 years of his life.

"I lost my town. I lost my friends. My family is all over. It took me20years just to calm down, just to get my name back to talk normal, to think normal."

In 1992,Paratusic,a BosnianMuslim miner living in theBosnia and Herzegovinatown ofPrijedor,was arrested by Serbian forcesand taken to the factory where he had beenemployed.It had become amakeshift detentioncamp, one of three he would be imprisoned in for the next seven months.

During that time, hesaid he was beaten and tortured, squeezed into rooms withhundreds of other inmates, often forced to sleep standing up, and given very little food to survive.

"You cannot think.You only thinkabout the food, that day, whether you are going to make it through or not," he said.

'You do not forget those things'


Continue reading at CBC »