Human Rights in Serbia don’t mean much, research suggests

Serbian concentration camp Trnopolje Photo: Reuters 1992

According to the Croatian Defenders internet portal more than 70% of Serbian citizens have a negative attitude towards the Hague tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia/ICTY) and consider that the Hague trials do not contribute to the reconciliation process.

These are the results from recent research ordered by the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and OSCE Mission in Serbia (Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe), carried out by Ipsos Strategic Marketing and presented to the public on Tuesday February 28. A representative sample of citizens over 16 years of age was surveyed in this research.

The research showed that 66% of Serbian citizens consider the establishment of the Hague tribunal unnecessary, and that the purpose of the Hague court is to transfer the guilt for the war and war victims onto Serbia.

Half of those surveyed consider that Radovan Karadzic is not responsible for the crimes he is charged with, and 41% consider Ratko Mladic should not have been arrested nor handed over to ICTY.

Croatian news portal Nacional on the subject of the same research writes that 45% of research participants stated that everyone should judge their own people. 12% consider that it’s not important in which country or which institution carry out trials for war crimes.

16% hold that in order to achieve justice, it’s necessary to cooperate with the ICTY. 19% hold that cooperation with the ICTY is only necessary to the extent by which it prevents further pressure. 40% hold that cooperation with the Hague is not welcome because it has not in any way benefitted Serbia. A dozen or so consider cooperation with ICTY necessary as a condition for Serbia’s accession to European Union.

Just over 20% hold that reconciliation is a key factor for future relations between the countries of former Yugoslavia. With this, 34% consider apologies by state leaders beneficial while 57% think apologies are useless.

Given that this research stipulates that those surveyed form a representative sample of citizens of Serbia it seems as clear as a sunny day that Serbs have not accepted, nor do they intend to accept, the fact that it WAS they who started the horrific wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990’s.

Furthermore the concept of human rights does not, for Serbs, spread beyond Serbia – as if there are no humans outside it. They want the world to leave them alone to judge their own people and if the world is to get involved then Serbs want Serbia to benefit from that.

Indeed, judging by the results of this research it seems that for a whopping slice of Serbian population Srebrenica, Vukovar, Skabrnja, Sibenik, Zadar … million refugees, countless rapes and tortures, numerous concentration camps across Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia – did not happen!

Now that Serbia has received the status of candidate for EU accession (with unjustifiable ease) let’s wait and see if the EU, International Human Rights watch and Amnesty International will criticise Serbs for their protective stance on war crimes committed by their people and hostility towards internationally administered justice. These three international bodies have always been so quick to react against Croatia and make her path to EU accession an undeserved nightmare. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A.,M.A.Ps.(Syd)

“List of war criminals in Vukovar, Velepromet concentration camp and Ovcara” (Croatia 1991)

Comments

  1. Haha…Serbia will not have the same obstacles as Croatia. Their diplomatic legacy, the networks, relationships and business connections will see them through unscathed. Moreover, their state patron Russia will ensure nothing happens to the Serbs. As I mentioned in my previous note, Croatia has a very dangerous situation with Serbia because it is in denial and has no remorse; except that it lost. No amount of goodwill or good neighbourly gesture is likely to change this. Change will only come if the Serbs go through a catharsis and national self reckoning. In the meantime, Croatia should stop trying to ‘make-up’ with Serbia. We were the victims, the aggressor should be trying to make-up with us. Quite frankly we should stop looking to Serbia and turn our back on them and turn toward our other important neighbours – Hungry, Austria, Italy, Germany etc, etc. There is no value or return on investment with Serbia. And we should stop letting other dictate our relations with Serbia. As far as I am concerned there should be little or no relationship until the Serbs pay reparations, admit fault, outlaw the Greater Serbia ideology, terminate any return back to Croatia ambitions (Serbs left because they didn’t want to live in a free Croatia, so now you are NOT welcome back, ever) and return all property and lands in B/H back to their original status before the war. Otherwise, in the long run the Serbs truly gain a Greater Serbia through the Serb Republic in B/H. Serbia paid a small price for such as huge gain.

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  2. Michael Silovic says:

    I agree 100% but the problem is it is no longer up to Croatia to decide it’s fate. Croatia has become a puppet state of the EU and the EU will dictate the terms to Serbia. Serbia has the upper hand because of Russia that the EU does not want Russia to have a hand in the region so it will allow Serbia more leeway then Croatia.The EU will protect Croatia more so then Serbia because Croatia has more natural resources for the EU to steal.I just hope our government has the backbone to stand up to the EU and put Croatia’s national interest first.

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