Survey: 71% of Serbians know about Srebrenica massacre
Only half believe it
A survey conducted in December 2006 examined popular attitudes in Serbia towards domestic war crimes trials and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. A summary with tables showing responses to the questions is available in English on the OSCE website (large PDF).
The survey, which was commissioned as part of the joint war crimes outreach project of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and the OSCE Mission in Serbia, is based on interviews conducted 22-25 December 2006 by Strategic Marketing with a representative stratified sample of 1,000 adults in 127 settlements located in all 67 districts of Serbia (excl. Kosovo). The margin of error is 1.23 - 2.82 percent.
Some samples of the results:
Regarding the statement: "Paravojske i pripadnici JNA ubijaju civile u Vukovaru" [Paramilitaries and members of the Yugoslav army killed civilians at Vukovar], 52% had heard of it; 28% believed it to be true; 21% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "JNA je bombardirovala Dubrovnik" [the Yugoslav army bombarded Dubrovnik], 56% of respondents said they'd heard of it; 34% believed it to be true; 15% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "Mostar je bombardovala JNA" [the Yugoslav army bombarded Mostar], 40% had heard of it; 19% believed it to be true; 9% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "U Bijeljini su 1992. godine paravojne formacije iz Srbije ubijale civile" [In Bijeljina in 1992 paramilitary formations from Serbia killed civilians], 33% had heard of it; 18% believed it to be true; 16% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "Pripadnici srpskih oruzanih formacija prinudno raseljavaju Muslimane iz Zvornika tokom rata u Bosni" [Members of Serb armed formations forcibly displaced Muslims from Zvornik during the war in Bosnia], 39% had heard of it; 24% believed it to be true; 13% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "Sarajevo je bilo preko hiljadu dana (3 godine) pod opsadom" [Sarajevo was under siege for 1000 days (3 years)], 58% had heard of it; 48% believed it to be true; 18% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "Tokom operacije 'Bljesak' 1995, pripadnici hrvatske vojske i policije pocinili su ratne zlocine nad Srbima u zapadnoj Slavoniji" [During Operation "Flash" in 1995, members of the Croatian army and police committed war crimes against Serbs in western Slavonia], 78% said they had heard of it; 75% believed it to be true; and 70% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "U Srebrenici je ubijen veliki broj civila Muslimana/Bosnjaka" [A large number of Muslim/Bosniak civilians were killed at Srebrenica], 71% had heard of it; 50% believed it to be true; and 43% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "Kada je pocelo NATO bombardovanje 1999. Albancima su oduzimani dokumenti i proterivani su" (When the NATO bombing in 1999 began, the Albanians were deprived of their documents and were expelled], 36% said they had heard of it; 15% believed it to be true; 10% thought that it was a crime.
Regarding the statement: "Pripadnici UCK cinili su zlocine u vreme rata na Kosovu (1999)" [Members of the KLA committed crimes during the time of the war in Kosovo (1999)], 77% had heard of it; 74% believed it to be true; and 70% thought that it was a crime.
Survey: 71% of Serbians know about Srebrenica massacre,
only a half believe it
HINA Croatian News Agency
March 9, 2007
BELGRADE, March 9 (Hina) - A large number of Serbian citizens still lack information on war crimes and negate them, with 71% of Serbians having heard about the Srebrenica massacre, and only half of them believing that a large number of Bosnian Muslims were killed there, according to a survey conducted by the Belgrade-based agency "Strategic Marketing".
"Dnevnik" daily of Friday quoted the agency's director Svetlana Logar as saying that the survey, which was conducted last December and covered 1,000 respondents, showed that the percentage of citizens accepting the fact that a crime was committed in Srebrenica had increased in comparison with a similar survey from 2004, but that a large number of them still do not accept the Hague war crimes tribunal and believe that war crimes indictees should be prosecuted by the Serbian judiciary.
"Sixty-nine% of Serbian citizens support cooperation with the Hague tribunal, and in 2003 84% of respondents supported cooperation with the tribunal. Nineteen percent of respondents are against any form of cooperation, while 15% believe that Serbia should cooperate with the tribunal for the sake of justice. Twenty-eight percent of respondents support the minimum of cooperation with the tribunal that would help Serbia evade international sanctions, and 26% support cooperation because it is a condition for the continuation of Serbia's integration with Europe," Logar said.
With regard to human rights, the survey reveals a deterioration in respect for human rights in 2006, with several trends catching attention: the use of hate language and its integration into legitimate forms of communication on the public scene, including its legalisation in the state parliament, continued and increased pressure on the judiciary, treating political adversaries as traitors, and the continued understanding of the political struggle as a "mediaeval battle where everything is allowed".