PETITION TO THE UK MINISTER OF JUSTICE
On June 14, 2011 the British Ministry of Justice has requested from the International War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) early release of the convicted war criminal, Momcilo Krajisnik who was one of the main architects of the war crimes committed on Bosnians during the Serbian aggression on Bosnia 1992-1995.
The UK Law states that Momcilo Krajisnik was eligible for consideration for release on parole licence after serving half of his prison sentence. A request for his release of 2010 was already denied by the ICTY in July 2010 as explained in their judgement. (http://www.icty.org/x/cases/krajisnik/presdec/en/100726.pdf
Momcilo Krajisnik’s convictions include inhumane acts, persecution ,deportation, and forcible transfer of non-Serb population in a number of Bosnian municipalities.
After sentencing at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague Momcilo Krajisnik was transferred in September 2009 to the United Kingdom to serve the remainder of his sentence.
The UK Law states that Momcilo Krajisnik would be eligible for consideration for release on parole licence after serving half of his prison sentence.
The crimes committed as a result of this unconceivable and bloody project over the non-Serb population in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Serbs include:
- Genocide in Srebrenica where over 8000 Bosnian men have been killed in the space of three days. This figure is still not final as there are still mass graves in that region where the digging continues.
- Genocide in other towns and villages in Bosnia which involved mass killings, butchering, forcible imprisonment and torching of innocent civilians (women, elderly people, children and unarmed men), mass rapes of Bosnian women.
- Bombardment and constant shelling and sniping of the civilians in Sarajevo and other Bosnian towns (in Tuzla just one shell ended 71 young lives and wounded 240 civilians).
- Forcibly imprisoning civilians in Serbian death camps, torturing, raping, and killing a large number of the imprisoned.
- The war left between 130,000 and 150,000 dead (the figures are not final yet) with around 3,372 children killed or missing mainly in the areas of Sarajevo and Srebrenica (mostly between 15- 18 years of age, but the youngest victim being a 2 day old baby).
The Bosnians had an unjust arms embargo imposed on them while Serbia had its own weapons factory, and what used to be the fourth strongest Army in Europe at the time which all enabled them to easily commit war crimes over the innocent and unarmed civilians.
The war was ended in 1995 by a shameful Dayton Accord that legitimised ‘ethnic cleansing’ by allowing the occupied territory to be called Republika Srpska.
Many refugees still have not been able to return to their homes. These non-Serb victims of the worst war crimes that Europe has seen since World War II are still being exhumed, and the count continues. Many of the victims are still being forensically processed for identification purposes, and are awaiting a proper burial.
It is in this situation, where the wounds are still deep and fresh that the British Ministry of Justice has submitted a request for Momcilo Krajisnik, one of the major architects of the atrocities committed over the non-Serb population during the war in Bosnia, to be released early on a parole licence.
Momcilo Krajisnik might legally be eligible for a parole, but the Ministry of Justice should consider the fact that he is not an ordinary criminal but a war criminal – equal in all respects to those who had been tried and sentenced in the Nuremberg trials after World War II.
By putting Momcilo Krajisnik on the same plane level with any other criminals who might be eligible for a parole after serving half of their sentence, the Ministry Of Justice seems to disregard the fact that the victims of the Bosnian war would see that as a demeaning and offensive act to them. They will see it as a message that the war crimes are of no major significance, and that it would be fine if a new conflict started there that they could do the same to reclaim their land that they lost to war crimes and genocide.
The length of a person serving a prison sentence should be proportionate to the crimes they have been convicted for- and there is a huge difference between an ordinary criminal and a war criminal.
The World knows only too well that there is no statute of limitations for war crimes, and the Nazi war criminals are still being hunted and sentenced sixty years after they had committed crimes.
Should the Bosnian victims be forgotten sixteen years after the war was ended, and the war criminals pardoned for ‘good behaviour’ in prison? Was it not enough that the World stood by and watched the Bosnian people being killed? Should the indifference still continue by acts like this one where you are seeking to ‘reward’ a war criminal for his ‘good behaviour’ in prison?
This request was already put to the ICTY last year, and was denied (ICTY Judgement of 26 July 2010) and it is hard to believe that yet another attempt, this time by the UK Ministry Of Justice, has been made to seek Momcilo Krajisnik’s early release.
Therefore, we the undersigned ask the UK Ministry Of Justice to withdraw their shameful claim to the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague for early release of Momcilo Krajisnik on parole licence: