A war crimes court in Serbia has found four Serb paramilitaries guilty of the murder of six Muslim youths in the final days of the Bosnian conflict.
The murders were caught on videotape which was later discovered by a Serbian human rights activist. The images were first shown during the trial of former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic and reveal an Orthodox priest blessing members of a Serbian military unit who then force six men in civilian clothing, their hands bound, out of a lorry onto a country road, where they are made to lie face down. When other soldiers arrive, they march the six men into an area off the road and shoot four of the young men in the back. At gunpoint, the soldiers then force the two remaining men to drag the bodies off to a nearby building. Later, the two men are made to lie down on the floor of the building and are also shot.
This was a sickening crime and yet today’s conviction in a Serbian court offers some small hope for change for the better. The Serbian people themselves certainly seem more willing to accept the truth than do some British commenters on blogs. One wonders how they will spin a video showing both the convicted perpetrators and their victims and the act of murder itself.
A Croatian Serb member of the death squad is already serving 15 years for the crimes in a Croatian prison.
Rwandans this week observe the anniversary of the 14 week reign of terror that left at least half a million dead. In Canada, Desire Munyaneza faces seven charges including genocide and crimes against humanity under the country’s new war crimes act.
“He told people to kill us and was standing there, making sure no one would escape,” one woman, known in court as C16 in order to protect her identity, told jurors.
“When they slashed the woman next to me, I fell down so they would think I was dead, and I stayed there until they were gone.”
We forget such brutality at our own peril. Despite the vomit-loads of “whatabouttery” from the usual suspects.