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Last modified January 21, 2014

Serbian denial of Serb war crimes in Bosnia continues, even after the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. This denial is endorsed and abetted by various Western commentators, even including some supposedly in the progressive community.

Here we examine some common misrepresentations of Serbian war crimes in Bosnia.

“The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past”.
             --William Faulkner

 


 
Below:

   Gen. Ratko Mladic War Diaries

   Numbers of Bosnian War Dead

   International Court of Justice Decision in the case of Bosnia v. Serbia

   Genocide on the Drina

   Srebrenica
   
Face to face with Radovan Karadzic By Ed Vulliamy, The Observer (London), December 3, 2011
    Michael Dobbs' Srebrenica Blog
    Mapping Genocide
Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 17, 2011
    Memories of a better future in the aftermath of the Srebrenica genocide By Hariz Halilovich, June 2011
    Srebrenica - war crimes deniers
    Noam Chomsky invited to give the annual Amnesty International Lecture (October 2009)
    Controversy over the interview with Chomsky in the Guardian (UK), Oct 31, 2005
    Srebrenica Documentary Background
   
Srebrenica Survivors Lawsuits
    Articles on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre
    Bosnia: The confession of a war criminal By Renaud Girard and Patrick de Saint-Exupery, Le Figaro (Paris), March 8, 1996 (in French)
   Srebrenica Photos:
    The Betrayal of Srebrenica: A Commemoration by Paula Allen and Lisa DiCaprio, 2005
    Srebrenica Memorial Photos by Peter Lippman, September-October 2008

  Prijedor: Serbian concentration camps at Trnopolje and Omarska

   Bosnia's Cultural Heritage

   Mujahedin in Bosnia

   Greek role in Bosnia conflict
 

Mladic War Diaries The documents show how Serbia almost entirely funded the Bosnian Serb military forces. It is clear from the diaries that the Republika Srpska Army was created on the basis of a plan designed in the cabinet of then Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Southeast European Times, August 5, 2010
See also:
The day when British justice humbled the British and Serbian governments
The most spectacular, and historically most important, event in Ejup Ganic's trial was Serbia's formal admission that up to May 15, 1992 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was an international military conflict, in which the Yugoslav Army fought under Belgrade's command - an official, written Serbian admission that it was a case of an "international armed conflict in which two concerned parties took part, namely Bosnia-Herzegovina on one side and Serbia on the other." Bosnian Institute News (London), August 21, 2010

Numbers of Bosnian War Dead

The Bosnian Book of Dead: Assessment of the Database An independent review of the Population Loss Project of the Research and Documentation Centre in Sarajevo. June 17, 2007

Bosnian war killed 97,000 people - study Bosnia's 1992-1995 war claimed some 97,000 lives. The non-governmental Research and Documentation Centre presented the results of the four-year study. Using hundreds of different sources, the organization created a huge database containing names and other information on each victim, including photographs of more than 55,000 of them. "The purpose of this research was to reduce space for manipulation with figures on war victims," said a representative, regarding the project financed mainly by the Norwegian foreign ministry. June 21, 2007

What do the figures for the Bosnian war-dead tell us? Analysis of the above study. By Marko Hoare, January 4, 2008

Srebrenica victim count Number of Srebrenica genocide victims stands at 8372, as of December 2008

Srebrenica victims body identification DNA Results of the International Commission on Missing Persons Reveal the Identity of 6,186 Srebrenica Victims. July 9, 2009

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Death Toll 104,732 wartime estimated deaths. By the Demographic Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), January 2010

Numbers of Dead and Missing from Srebrenica This is an earlier examination. Numerous more mass graves have since been discovered. But this article is useful in discussing the origins of the list of dead and missing. By Andras Riedlmayer, July 19, 2005

Bosnian Atlas of War Crimes is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that uses Google Earth technology and presents the facts about the 1992-1995 war in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an innovative and unconventional way. On a digital map of Bosnia and Herzegovina, researchers, scholars and anyone who is interested can access to information from the database and other resources about locations of mass murders, rapes, destruction, as well as information about the war events in every part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Requires Google Earth (free download). Research and Documentation Center, Sarajevo, December 2010
This site is now off line, and may or may not be restored. In the meantime, see the archived version, which lacks Google Earth functionality.

Ljudski gubici u BiH (Human Losses in Bosnia and Herzegovina) In Bosnian. Includes charts with numbers by region. Powerpoint files. Research and Documentation Center, Sarajevo

Genocide on the Drina A book by Edina Becirevic, 2009. The book begins with the basics about genocide in the first chapter and then gives a historical overview of genocide in the Balkans. Special emphasis is placed upon Serb nationalist programs from the 19th century, ranging from the Serb nationalist politician Ilija Garašin's program to the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts Memorandum from 1986 in the second chapter. The third chapter deals with the Bosnian Serb modus operandi in committing the Bosnian Genocide. The fourth chapter is the most important one; in it the author explains in detail how genocide was committed in 10 towns in Eastern Bosnia in 1992/93. The fifth chapter deals with modern-day Bosnia and the common issue of post-genocidal societies: denial of committed crimes.

In the past years the spotlight has been almost exclusively on the Srebrenica genocide, which suits many political and intellectual circles in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The "genocidal processes" in other areas from 1992-1995, as the author puts it, are completely forgotten and even denied. Unlike other authors, Edina has the courage to use the term "genocide" instead of the jaded term "ethnic cleansing" to explain the events in Eastern Bosnia in 1992/93, which were the systematic destruction, murder, and rape of Bosniaks. The author's central thesis is that genocide in Eastern Bosnia started in 1992 in several towns such as Zvornik, Bratunac, Vlasenica, Visegrad, Rogatica, Foca and Srebrenica. The author provides us with new details of Serb genocidal bureaucratic policies such as the ordering of the establishment of the infamous Susica concentration camp, which she substantiated with an original document ordering its formation, as well as orders for the expulsion of the Muslim inhabitants of Birac. She also pays special attention to the "slow genocide" in Srebrenica, where tens of thousands of starving Bosnian Muslims were kept under siege, and to the raids carried out in quest for food in surrounding militarized Serb villages. She clearly notes: "The defenders of Srebrenica were under constant pressure from starving people who protested on a daily basis, in front of the war presidency in Srebrenica, asking for organized action to gather food."


International Court of Justice Decision in the case of Bosnia v. Serbia
The Court finds that Serbia has violated its obligation under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide in Srebrenica and that it has also violated its obligations under the Convention by having failed fully to co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Press Release
Summary of the Judgment of 26 February 2007 (PDF)
Judgment of 26 February 2007 (PDF)
Opinion of the Court's Vice President - Dissent from the Court's decision not to find Serbia guilty of genocide. (PDF)

Commentary:
Peter Lippman  Marko Hoare  Martin Shaw (And interview with ShawAnthony Dworkin  Martin Shaw's reply to Anthony Dworkin

How Belgrade Escaped Genocide Charge Belgrade has more than once invoked national security to stop the Hague tribunal from sharing with the International Court of Justice documents related to the trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. It is widely believed that the transcripts, which record the meetings of top Serbian officials, contain evidence of Belgrade’s direct involvement in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s. Among the documents were files of the Bosnian Serb generals, including top fugitive General Ratko Mladic, who were on the Yugoslav army’s payroll during the war. By Slobodan Kostic, IWPR, February 15, 2008 (Republished May 2, 2008)

Vital Genocide Documents Concealed The former official spokeswoman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia's chief prosecutor provides a systematic review of the way in which minutes of Serbia’s Supreme Defence Council, that might provide evidence against Serbia for genocide at Srebrenica, have been concealed by that same tribunal. As a result of her revelation, she has been charged with contempt of court by a trial chamber of the Tribunal. By Florence Hartmann, January 21, 2008

Call for Serbia to Release Confidential Documents Academics say they want disclosure so that Serbia’s role in the Bosnian war can be assessed objectively. By Merdijana Sadovic, IWPR, November 25, 2007

New Light Shed on Belgrade Role in Bosnian War The International Court of Justice decided Serbia was not to blame for the genocide in Bosnia, but documents quietly published in Montenegro hint it may have been wrong. At the time, it seemed bizarre that the ICJ declined to demand minutes of Serbia’s Supreme Defence Council as evidence in the case, and a few glimpses of the transcripts in a new book make it look even more so. By Edina Becirevic, IWPR November 16, 2007 (Republished November 27, 2007)

Bosnia vs Serbia: The evidence scandal Redacted documents confirm that Bosnian Serb political and army structures were under direct control by the Serbian government, who also gave them financial and logistical support. Evidence would have made Serbia liable for the Srebrenica genocide, and whenever the agenda turned to discussion of the financing of the Bosnian Serb army and personnel matters, as well as to Croatian Serb activities, the documents were blacked out in places. During the war in Bosnia, up to 4,000 officers on the Yugoslav Army payroll were serving in the Bosnian Serb Army. ISN Security Watch, International Relations and Security Network, April 24, 2007

Srebrenica Massacre Verdicts Spark Outrage Among Survivors The Advocacy Project, April 12, 2007

Genocide Court Ruled for Serbia Without Seeing Full War Archive This article comes at a particularly awkward moment for Belgrade, as it tries to invoke international legality as the reason why it should be allowed to hang on to Kosovo, at least de jure if not de facto. By Marlise Simons, New York Times, April 9, 2007

   Mapping Genocide This documentary animation presents the chronology of events in Srebrenica between July 6 and 19, 1995. The material lasts 220 minutes and is divided into 17 maps. By Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo), June 17, 2011

   Memories of a better future in the aftermath of the Srebrenica genocide I am not under any illusion that Mladić’s arrest and his trial at the Hague Tribunal might somehow reverse history and bring back all those lost people who made the places Mladić destroyed. I know that my place of birth will forever be tainted with Mladić’s name and the genocide he committed there, rather than known for its natural beauty, rich cultural history, and the people who live(d) there. Like thousands of other survivors, I’ll have to live with this reality and hold onto, as best I can, memories of Srebrenica before Mladić. Nonetheless, I’m hoping that Mladić’s trial will give back dignity to those brutally murdered, and restore the minimum of belief that justice does prevail in the end - that war crimes, like any other crimes, never pay. It is also critical that this possibly last trial at The Hague sparks a public debate on the broader context emphasised in this article: that the 8,372 victims at Srebrenica, 10,000 in Sarajevo, and tens of thousands across Bosnia did not die in a natural disaster. They were all victims of politics still very much alive in Serbia and even more so in Republika Srpska. By Hariz Halilovich, openDemocracy, June 13, 2011

 


Srebrenica: War-crimes deniers

A question for genocide deniers The cold-blooded murder of 7,000-8,000 Muslim men following the fall of the United Nations "safe area" in July 1995 is probably the most documented war crime in history -- but there are still those who insist it never happened. By Michael Dobbs, Foreign Policy, February 1, 2012

Edward Herman: The Politics of the Srebrenica Massacre On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, Herman insults the survivors with denial of Serbian atrocities and apologetics for Serbian aggression. Several readers responded. July 2005
   More on Edward Herman here.

Antiwar.com: While the perpetrators of the Bosnian Serb massacre of over 7,000 Muslims at Srebrenica are starting to confess (see Bosnian Serbs finally admit truth of Srebrenica deaths), Serb nationalist apologists are still denying that the massacre happened. Antiwar.com is among the prominent deniers. For a good antidote, see The Independent, November 5, 2003. The article notes, "The Bosnian Serb government has admitted for the first time that Bosnian Serb forces were responsible for the mass slaughter of Muslims in Srebrenica in July, 1995, Europe's worst atrocity since the end of the Second World War." See also Remains of dozens found in Bosnia's largest grave. (The Independent, July 29, 2003)

Noam Chomsky:

See a listing of various Chomsky statements denying or minimizing Serbian crimes against the peoples of Bosnia and Kosovo.

Srebrenica and Honesty The writer criticizes Chomsky for soft-peddling the Serbian massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica. "I cannot believe you are ignorant of the facts about Srebrenica and the Yugoslavian wars. You've devoted your life to uncovering hypocrisy and dispelling ignorance. So how am I to understand your bias in this matter?"  By Julie Wornan, member of Americans Against the War, France, January 4, 2005

Chomsky bamboozles on the Balkans II In an interview with Radio-TV Serbia, Chomsky endorses the lies of LM Magazine (see below). Oliver Kamm rebuts and rebukes Chomsky. June 2006

Chomsky misrepresents the Dutch investigation of Srebrenica. June 2006

   More on Noam Chomsky here.
 

General Lewis MacKenzie:

James Bissett: Former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia denies Srebrenica genocide

"Missing civilians" from Srebrenica that are supposedly on the OSCE voting lists. This claim was presented to the OSCE and European Union by Dr. Dragan Kalinic, at that time president of the RS Parliament.
T
his is propaganda that has been spread at regular intervals by the deniers of the massacre ever since the late 1990s. It's easy to make up a list of names. Kalinic was a collaborator with Karadzic and his direct political heir after the war. Eventually he was removed from office - see http://www.ohr.int/decisions/war-crimes-decs/default.asp?content_id=32750
 
Some of those names on the list may have been people who were thought to have been missing but indeed turned up surviving. Others were simply the same names as people who did go missing. In any case, that list doesn't disprove that there was a massacre. We know that at least some body parts of around 6,500 victims have been DNA-identified, as of 2010.

 


Noam Chomsky invited to give the annual Amnesty International Lecture in Belfast
October 30, 2009

Amnesty appears oblivious to the controversies that surround some of Chomsky’s views on human rights, and in particular the support that he has offered and continues to offer to polemicists who deny the substance, scope and authorship of the worst atrocities perpetrated during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. Without explanation, Chomsky characterises Ed Vulliamy’s description of Omarska and Trnopolje as “probably” wrong while at the same time he endorses the claim by Thomas Deichmann and LM magazine that Vulliamy, Penny Marshall, and Ian Williams gave a false account of the situation in the Prijedor camps as “probably” correct.

Open Letter to Amnesty International - The horror of what happened at Omarska and Trnopolje has been borne out by painful history, innumerable trials at the Hague, and - most importantly by far - searing testimony from the survivors and the bereaved. These were places of extermination, torture, killing, rape and, literally “concentration” prior to enforced deportation, of people purely on grounds of ethnicity. While Prof. Chomsky was not among those who first proposed the idea that these camps were a fake, he said many things, from his ivory tower at MIT, to spur them on and give them the credibility and energy they required to spread their poisonous perversion and denials of these sufferings. Chomsky comes with academic pretensions, doing it all from a distance, and giving the revisionists his blessing. And the revisionists have revelled in his endorsement. By Ed Vulliamy, October 2009

Open letter to Noam Chomsky and Amnesty International - The focus of our human rights organisation's work is the support that we give to minority groups who have been the victims of genocide and dispossession. You call genocide when it suits your ideological purposes.  Who could condone the murkier aspects of American foreign policy or fail to condemn the way that policy has supported and encouraged crimes against humanity? But you express your criticism of the crimes of the recent past in a perverse way, that makes genocide the almost exclusive prerogative of organisations with close links to the US. It is only then that you consider it to be genocide.  And it is only your political/ideological friends who are apparently incapable of committing genocide. By Tilman Zülch, President of the Society for Threatened Peoples, October 30, 2009

Chomsky's Bosnian Shame David Campbell dissects Chomsky's contradictory statements and misleading denials on the LM/ITN controversy. This article succinctly captures Chomsky's non-denial denials. Campbell is the author of Atrocity, Memory, Photography, a two-part article on the allegations concerning the filming of the Trnopolje inmates. November 16, 2009

Discussion of Edward Herman and David Peterson's open letter to Amnesty International. December 1, 2009

Related Publications of Amnesty International:

Bosnia-Herzegovina: How can they sleep at night? Arrest now! Can they sleep at night? The surviving victims or their relatives, who know that those who are responsible for the violations they endured remain at large? The international troops serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who know that every day they patrol areas where individuals suspected of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of humanitarian law are at liberty? The international community, who demanded the establishment of the Tribunal after being horrified and outraged by these crimes, and who know that it will itself be judged by history if justice is not done? Ironically, those who are most likely to be able to sleep at night are those who perpetrated the crimes, knowing that their leaders will protect them and that the international community does not dare to arrest them for fear of the perceived difficulties which would result. By Amnesty International, September 30, 1997

Report on the ongoing search for justice by the victims of rape in Bosnia. Published on the heels of its announcement of the Chomsky lecture, by Amnesty International, September 30, 2009

 


Controversy over the interview with Chomsky in the Guardian (UK) October 31, 2005

Though flawed, the Guardian article by Emma Brockes had some interesting observations on Chomsky's attitude toward the Srebrenica massacre. The interview has been pulled from the Guardian's website but is available here.

In an earlier interview, Chomsky stated,

Srebrenica was an enclave, lightly protected by UN forces, which was being used as a base for attacking nearby Serb villages. It was known that there’s going to be retaliation. When there was a retaliation, it was vicious. They trucked out all the women and children, they kept the men inside, and apparently slaughtered them. The estimates are thousands of people slaughtered.

The key words here are "retaliation," "apparently," and "estimates"; the slaughter "apparently" took place; the thousands killed were mere "estimates"; they were, in any case, simply "retaliation" for earlier Muslim crimes. While Chomsky raises doubts about the fact and scale of the killings, he is absolutely categorical that they were retribution for earlier Muslim crimes - the slaughter apparently took place, but if it did, then it was definitely retaliation. See Marko Attila Hoare's discussion of the Guardian interview and Chomsky's position on Srebrenica, Chomsky’s Genocidal Denial, November 21, 2005

Protest to the Guardian Over “Correction” to Noam Chomsky Interview By a group of Bosnian genocide survivors, academics, journalists, and others with a specialization on the subject of the Bosnian war. December 8, 2005

Chomsky's Complaints Chomsky is liberal with his charges of ‘invented contexts’, but he is vague in stating what the inventions comprise. His statements fall squarely in the category of minimizing Bosnian Serb crimes - not by denying they took place but by deflating their moral significance. Letter to the Guardian editor by Oliver Kamm, November 15, 2005

Chomsky's Genocide Denial By Marko Attila Hoare, December 17, 2005

The Guardian, Noam Chomsky and the Milosevic Lobby The Guardian interview exposed Chomsky's position on the Srebrenica massacre, which Chomsky described as "probably overstated" and which he has minimized at various times and in various ways. The interview also cited him as saying that reports of Serb concentration-camps were "probably not true," and that claims that these camps had been deliberately invented by the Western media to demonize the Serbs were "probably correct." By Marko Attila Hoare, February 4, 2006

An overview of the whole affair By Alison Freebairn, BIRN, December 23, 2005

The Work of the International Commission on Missing Persons  ICMP provides forensic expertise to locate and identify victims of the wars in the Former Yugoslavia, including the Srebrenica massacre. To date the ICMP has positively identified about 3000 bodies of Srebrenica victims and has partial remains of about 1000 more. The ICMP still predicts that about 8000 were killed in the massacre. By Adam Boys, ICMP, in The Scotsman, March 14, 2007

On the Western role in the Srebrenica massacre:
> Srebrenica: a genocide foretold
, by Sylvie Matton, 2005. Reviewed in Dani, March 3, 2006
> Interview with ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte, by Sylvie Matton, Paris-Match, November 2, 2006 (PDF, in French). Page 1  Pages 2-4 Ms. del Ponte claims that international observers and politicians knew of plans for mass murder in Srebrenica in advance.
> Holbrooke: 'I was under initial instructions to sacrifice Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde' Reference to Paris-Match article, November 2, 2006
>
Del Ponte: Srebrenica plan was known to Internationals, by Caroline Fletscher, Der Tagesspiegel, November 2, 2006
> Report on Bosnian Murders Fuels Debate, by Mark Perelman, Jewish Daily Forward, November 10, 2006

Srebrenica Suspects Revealed 28,000 people, according to the Republika Srpska authorities, were directly or indirectly involved in the massacre. August 26, 2006

Srebrenica’s search for justice
The discovery of a mass grave in August 2006 near Zvornik in eastern Bosnia containing the remains of 1,150 Bosnian victims of the Srebrenica massacre is only the most recent evidence of the scale of the atrocity perpetrated in and around the town in the days after 11 July 1995. By Peter Lippman, August 24, 2006

Focus on Srebrenica Suspects Profiles of defendants in largest joint trial ever seen at the Hague court. IWPR, July 7, 2006

Depositions given with the guilty pleas of two high-ranking Bosnian Serb officers who admitted to their participation in the planning and implementation of the Srebrenica massacre, and the subsequent burial and reburial of the victims' bodies:
Momir Nikolic, Chief of Intelligence and Security of the Bratunac Brigade during the Srebrenica executions in July 1995. May 6, 2003.
Dragan Obrenovic, acting commander of the Zvornik Brigade. May 20, 2003

The Interim Report (June 11, 2004, Word document) of the Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb) government Commission for Investigation of the Events In and Around Srebrenica Between 10th and 19th July 1995; and the Final Report (Addendum) (October 15, 2004, PDF file).
   "The report itself admits and provides details of the plan and deliberate liquidation of thousands of Bosniaks [Muslims] by the Bosnian Serb forces," said Bernard Fassier, deputy to Bosnia's top international administrator. (As quoted by the Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2004.)
See also
Ljubiša Beara, Architect of the Srebrenica Massacre. Beara was the invisible hand that planned and guided events firmly in the direction of death. By Emir Suljagic, a survivor of the Srebrenica massacre, November 4, 2004.

Military Analyst Richard Butler testified extensively at The Hague on Bosnian Serb military preparations for the Srebrenica massacre. His testimony (November 10-26, 2003) is indexed here.
His written reports are available in large PDF files. They include:
   Srebrenica Military Narrative, Operation Krivaja 95 Nov. 1, 2002, 138 pages (8 MB PDF)
   Military Narrative Supporting documentation, 344 files, 85 MB (PDFs)
   VRS Brigade Command Responsibility Report Oct. 31, 2002, 40 pages (2.4 MB PDF)
   Brigade Command Supporting documentation, 37 files, 43 MB (PDFs) (also available in one Zip file)

Preliminary list of dead of the genocide at Srebrenica in 1995. Bosnia Federal Commission for Missing Persons, June 5, 2005

Beyond Reasonable Doubt, a documentary film produced by SENSE, examines evidence adduced from the judicial process. The film presents the testimony of victims, forensic experts and the confessions of several of the massacre’s perpetrators, side-by-side with the denials and revisionist interpretations that seek to minimize the scale of atrocity. 2005

NPR report June 3, 2005 (read transcript, or click on "listen")

Belgrade’s Srebrenica Connection, by Aleksandar Mitic, Transitions Online, June 6, 2005

SREBRENICA INVESTIGATION: Summary of Forensic Evidence – Execution Points and Mass Graves. May 16, 2000

Dean Manning witness statement on Srebrenica in Milosevic trial November 24, 2003

War Crimes and Individual Responsibility: A PRIMA FACIE CASE FOR THE INDICTMENT OF SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC By Paul Williams and Norman Cigar, 1997

France criticises UN on Srebrenica French Parliamentary inquiry. BBC News, November 29, 2001

All That Remains: Identifying the Victims of the Srebrenica Massacre A succinct summary of the Srebrenica massacre and the process of body identification. By Laurie Vollen, Human Rights Center, U.C. Berkeley, 2002

Bridges of Bone and Blood - identifying victims in Bosnia Scientists with the International Committee for Missing Persons (ICMP) identify remains of those killed at Srebrenica. This article discusses how they work, and provides explicit discussion of the Serbian practice of digging up mass graves and hiding the bodies elsewhere. Radio Netherlands, July 11, 2005 (audio)
In downplaying the massacre, the war-crimes denier Edward Herman has written that he finds evidence of body removal and reburial "unconvincing."


Srebrenica Documentary Background

DNA Results Reveal the Identity of 6,186 Srebrenica Victims Through the use of DNA identity testing, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has revealed the identity of 6,186 persons missing from the July 1995 fall of Srebrenica, by analyzing DNA profiles extracted from bone samples of exhumed mortal remains and matching them to the DNA profiles obtained from blood samples donated by relatives of the missing. The overall high matching rate between DNA extracted from these bone and blood samples leads ICMP to support an estimate of close to 8,100 individuals missing from the fall of Srebrenica.

Dutch Reports:
Srebrenica: Reconstruction, background, consequences, and analyses of the fall of a safe area
An extensive survey of the massacre, carried out by Dutch experts. Long, wandering, rambling, unwieldy, coming to contradictory conclusions. Often misrepresented, by Noam Chomsky, David Gibbs, and others. -- Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), April 2002 (PDF)
   Bibliography of the above report
(PDF)
   Srebrenica: Questions for the future --
Medecins Sans Frontieres, Holland, April 4, 2002
   Summary of the conclusions from the Epilogue of the NIOD report
April 10, 2002
   Owning Up to Srebrenica
by Tim Judah, IWPR, April 12, 2002
   Dutch government resigns in wake of NIOD report
April 16, 2002
   Responsibility and Guilt of the Dutch Troops and Officials
By Hasan Nuhanovic, chair of the Association of Srebrenica Victims, April 26, 2002
   Secret - the true story behind the Srebrenica report This article provides great detail about the flawed process of the NIOD investigation and report. By Alain van der Horst, December 12, 2003
   Dutch report is so broad that both prosecution and defence witnesses are using it
IWPR, February 6, 2004 (Republished November 9, 2005)
   "FORGET ABOUT IT": "PARALLEL PROCESSING" IN THE SREBRENICA REPORT
This article gives an idea of how evasive the NIOD report was. Dominick LaCapra has remarked that "when you study something, you always have a tendency to repeat the problems you are studying." In psychoanalytic supervision this phenomenon is called "parallel processing." Parallel processes are subconscious re-enactments of past events: when you are caught up in a parallel process, your behavior repeats key aspects of what there is to know about what you're studying - in a way, however, that you yourself don't understand. The article analyzes the extent to which the "NIOD Report," the official Dutch report on the massacre in Srebrenica (1995), "parallels" the events it describes. It introduces the phenomenon, examines the way the NIOD researchers unwittingly replicated several key aspects of the events they studied, and discusses some instances in which paralleling highlights precisely those features of the events under consideration that are hard to come to terms with. By Eelco Runia, History and Theory, volume 43, pages 295-320, October 2004 (PDF)

Dutch Parliamentary Report Blasts UN Actions in Srebrenica January 27, 2003
Dutch Parliamentary Inquiry Fails to Answer Key Questions into Srebrenica Massacre
January 31, 2003
The Netherlands failed at Srebrenica - but so did NATO, Dutch ministers tell parliamentary inquiry
IWPR, November 27, 2002 (Republished April 29, 2005)

 


Two Srebrenica Survivors Lawsuits

1. A group of some 6,000 surviving relatives of the victims of the fall of the enclave of Srebrenica, has formed the group Mothers of Srebrenica. This group holds the State of the Netherlands and the United Nations jointly responsible for the fall of the enclave at Srebrenica and therefore liable for the death of their family members and the consequent loss suffered. The group has commenced legal proceedings in the Netherlands against the State of the Netherlands and the United Nations.

Click here for information on the lawsuit. (Follow links on sidebar for details of the proceedings.)

2. Hasan Nuhanovic researched and documented the terrible events at Srebrenica in meticulous detail over more than 500 pages before taking his case to law, alongside a similar action brought by the family of the murdered electrician Rizo Mustafic.

A few days after the enclave fell to the Serb forces on 11 July 1995 the Dutch Blue Helmets were ordered by their government to leave Srebrenica, abandoning the defenseless Bosnians entrusted to their protection. The names of 8373 former inhabitants of the UN safe area who were murdered by the triumphant Serb forces and buried in mass graves are known. One of them, Hasan Nuhanovic's father, was recently identified from remains discovered in one of those mass graves. The fate of Hasan's mother and his brother remains unknown. Many of the mass graves were subsequently destroyed by Serb troops using bulldozers to conceal all evidence of the crime. The victims' remains were taken away and reburied elsewhere.

The Tragedy of the Nuhanovic Family:
Hasan Nuhanovic spent the night of 12-13 July 1995 with his parents and brother in an improvised office in the UNPROFOR support base at Potocari, on the outskirts of Srebrenica, taking orders from the Dutch officer Andre de Haan. De Haan, who was in the same room along with a doctor and a nurse, had been a guest of the family on a number of occasions and was fond of his mother's cooking. Even so, when news was received that nine men had been killed outside the UNPROFOR base no-one came forward to help the family about to be separated from one another, Nuhanovic remembers in the account he gives in his book "Under the UN Flag". The next morning, between 5 and 6 AM, de Haan said to him, "Hasan, tell your mother, your brother and your father that they must leave the base, now."
See 15 years after the Srebrenica massacre, a survivor buries his family, by Hasan Nuhanovic, The Washington Post, July 11, 2010

Court Rebuffs Srebrenica Survivors' Claim BIRN, September 10, 2008

NEW  Dutch Supreme Court rules in favor of Srebrenica survivors SENSE-TRIBUNAL, September 6, 2013

More information:

Interview with attorney Liesbeth Zegveld discussing the case and in particular the reason the Nuhanovic/Mustafic cases are brought against the Dutch government and not against the UN (the Mothers of Srebrenica case is against both).
The interview with Zegveld is followed by another with Ramesh Thakur, one of the people at the UN responsible for formulating the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine and discussing the implications of the case for its implementation. CBC Radio, June 17, 2008

Radio Student Slovenia's audio broadcast (in English) of Hasan Nuhanovic's presentation describing the fall of Srebrenica.  This is based on the research in "Under the UN Flag" and formed the basis of the presentation he gave the court. (Click on the center of the yellow diamond.)

Visual reminders of what the cases are all about:
Tarik Samarah's project "Srebrenica - genocide at the heart of Europe"
, displayed at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC
A poignant photomontage of Potocari

Read Under the UN Flag, by Hasan Nuhanovic - how the Dutch state and the United Nations abandoned the people of Srebrenica to genocide in July 1995.

Srebrenica: the search for a terrible truth goes on Hasan Nuhanovic has the eyes of a man who has seen too much. His day job is helping to pursue international sex traffickers. In the evenings and at weekends, he hunts for the remains of his murdered family. "There is no closure – closure only comes when we die," he says. "But I need to bury them." The Guardian, October 13, 2009

 

 


Articles on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre:

Srebrenica: Anatomy of a Massacre Ten years after the Srebrenica atrocity, tribunal investigators have been able to piece together a detailed picture of the planning and execution of the worst massacre on European soil since World War Two. By Michael Farquhar, IWPR, July 9, 2005 (Republished August 3, 2006)

Dead and Missing from Srebrenica War-crimes deniers try to cast doubt on the 8,000 killed at Srebrenica. This article documents the validity of the official lists. By Andras Riedlmayer, July 19, 2005

Srebrenica: ten years on The Bosnian Serb massacre of around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995 has left deep wounds. Ed Vulliamy revisits the scenes of a terrible crime, meets families and survivors, and reports on the search for human remains and justice. July 6, 2005

Belgrade: war crimes in daily life A day’s walk in Serbia’s capital brings Dusan Velickovic closer to the emotional heart of a country still struggling to face the truth of its past. June 28, 2005

There was genocide in Srebrenica. And it continues to win Michael Thieren expected a health emergency and found himself in a genocide zone. A decade on, the memory and the anger burn. July 11, 2005

The Village of the Widows The bereaved of Srebrenica are trying to rebuild their lives. But the massacre of their men and boys has doomed them demographically, economically and socially. Newsweek, July 12, 2005

IWPR coverage, July 6, 2005:

A Survivor’s Story Former prisoner tells how he escaped death at the hands of a Serb execution squad.

Most Victims Still Nameless Local forensic investigation teams attempt to return victims’ bodies to grieving relatives.

The Wall of Denial Despite mountains of evidence, many Serbs refuse to accept that a massacre took place.

A Painful Return A few thousand have courageously gone back to the Srebrenica area to rebuild their shattered lives.

- - - - - - - - - -

Books on Bosnia: From Srebrenica to the Middle Ages
A small British publisher teams up with the London-based Bosnian Institute to produce four valuable books on Bosnia.

 

 


Serbian concentration camps at Trnopolje and Omarska (Prijedor)

"Living Marxism": Poison in the well of history By Ed Vulliamy, The Guardian, March 15, 2000. Living Marxism magazine (LM), in denying reports on a Serbian-run concentration camp, accused a British TV station of distorting the truth about Bosnia. Mr. Vulliamy, who filed the first reports on the horrors of the Trnopolje camp, explains why these Serb apologists had to be defeated in court. For an index of coverage by The Guardian (U.K.), click here.

Guardian reports on libel trial:
Now for the moment of truth by Vikram Dodd, February 21, 2000
Doctor's secret Serb camp photos by Julia Hartley-Brewer, March 9, 2000
High Stakes battle over Serbian guilt  and  ITN in £375,000 libel victory   by Julia Hartley-Brewer, March 15, 2000

See the British TV videos by Penny Marshall and Ian Williams, Channel 4 (ITN), August 1992
Rough footage filmed by ITN teams and other backup material on the Prijedor concentration camps
Shame of camp Omarska Expose of Serbian concentration camps in the Prijedor region, by Ed Vulliamy, August 7, 1992
"We can't forget" Survivors return to the concentration camp area 12 years later, by Ed Vulliamy, September 1, 2004

See also:

  • We did not fool the world by Richard Tait, ITN, May 24, 1997

  • Living Marxism - Festering Fascism? by George Monbiot, Prospect Magazine, November 1998.

  • Dubious Sources, by David Walls, New Politics, summer 2002. (See the section "Weaving a Fabric of Deceit.")

  • Atrocity, memory, photography Imaging the concentration camps of Bosnia - the case of ITN versus Living Marxism. The article painstakingly demolishes LM's argument and reveals it to be a thin tissue of fabrications, distortions, and lies. Part 1 details the controversy surrounding the 1992 television image of Fikret Alic and others imprisoned at Trnopolje camp in Bosnia, demonstrating how doubts about its veracity were unsustainable. Part 2 explores the historical, political and visual context in which the particulars of the controversy are located. It explores what is involved in the concept of a 'concentration camp', as well as the nature of the Nazis' concentration camp system and the implications of this for the memory of the Holocaust and our understanding of contemporary atrocity. By David Campbell, Journal of Human Rights, March & June 2002.

  • Revisionism Will Cripple Bosnia's Future. By Nerma Jelacic, IWPR, October 1, 2004 (Republished February 21, 2005)

  • Living Marxism (LM): a profile by LobbyWatch.

  • Living Marxism (LM): a profile at PowerBase.

LM's lies about Bosnia have been picked up and redistributed by numerous supposedly reputable commentators, including Edward Herman.
Background on LM: Naming the Genocide Deniers by George Monbiot, June 13, 2011.

Peter Brock: This advocate for Serbian nationalism is a favored source of Edward Herman and other war-crimes deniers. Brock's Foreign Policy article misrepresenting the Trnopolje camp and other Serbian atrocities is refuted in an article by Charles Lane and another by Michael Sells.

NEW John Simpson: I was on wrong side in Bosnia death camps libel trial BBC veteran apologises for backing magazine that claimed exposé of Serb-run camps was false. The Observer (London), April 21, 2012

Empty Villages and Crowded Grave Yards Preserving Memory in “Ethnically Cleansed” Prijedor. By Patrick McCarthy, July 2007

Interview with Ed Vulliamy, the British reporter who reported on Serbian concentration camps in Northwest Bosnia. Radio KWMU, St. Louis, November 20, 2007 (audio)

‘I am waiting. No one has ever said sorry’ The writer returns to Bosnia on the occasion of the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, and interviews former concentration camp detainees. By Ed Vulliamy, The Guardian, July 26, 2008

Hundreds of thousands of pages of ICTY testimony with respect to the concentration camps at Trnopolje, Omarska, etc.

The Prijedor Report Description of concentration camps of Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje. Annex V to the Final Report. United Nations Commission of Experts, December 28, 2004 (Summaries of all the annexes to the UN final report are available here.)

From the Ashes: The Past and Future of Bosnia's Cultural Heritage The Serbian assault on Bosnia included the deliberate targeting and destruction of cultural, religious, and historic landmarks by nationalist extremists. By András Riedlmayer, 2002 (PDF)

Mujahedin in Bosnia A more realistic treatment of the subject than that provided by the hysterical propaganda tracts that have unfortunately clouded our understanding. By Marko Hoare, Bosnia Report, July 2007.

The Serbian Unity Congress and the Serbian Lobby A Study of Contemporary Revisionism and Denial. By Brad Blitz, October 1994

Greek role in Bosnia

   Three short videos on Greece and the war in the former Yugoslavia, by a Dutch journalist
      Part 1 (See especially at 7 minutes, 20 seconds)
     
Part 2 (See especially at 1 minute)
      Part 3

   Greek journalist Takis Michas sued for writing about Greek paramilitaries in Bosnia The trial date has been set for September 29, 2010. Congress of North American Bosniaks, August 5, 2009
   The Greek Way Links to more information and a video on the involvement of Greece in the Srebrenica massacre and the Yugoslav wars. By Ingeborg Beugel, 2008

   Kosovo Serb Refugees: Unimportant Detail or The Real Ethnic Cleansing? Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor, July 2, 1999 (On Greek attitudes toward Serbian ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, and an examination of Greek and Serbian anti-Muslim attitudes.)


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