Carl Bildt: You can run, but you cannot hide! French and British journalists condemn Bildt’s presence in Sarajevo

11,541 empty red chairs in Sarajevo Photo: Amel Emric/AP

The message came loud and clear: Carl Bildt was not welcome nor did he deserve to be present in Sarajevo on Friday 6 April at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Florence Hartmann and Ed Vulliamy confronted Carl Bildt as he, addle-struck, strolled among 11,541 red chairs placed in a Sarajevo street, symbolizing a river of blood, those murdered by the Serbian aggressor in the siege.

While most of the above video is in English, a part is not and, hence, here is the translation of the section from 1.03 to 1.49 minute, when Hartmann decided to speak in the local language in Sarajevo, explaining her outrage at seeing Carl Bildt there:

Well, because he didn’t do something, so the siege does not last for 1,500 days.

He had with his politics, that is, as representative of his country and the European Union, had not done anything to stop the torment in Sarajevo and the whole of Bosnia, that’s why I consider he has no place here.

I’m a free citizen of Europe and have a right to tell him and he has a right to continue to be here. I’ve expressed myself and, full stop.

That, why has he come here and that he does not deserve to be here. That is my expression … well you saw, he replied nothing”.

Both Florence Hartmann and Ed Vulliamy condemned Bildt’s presence in Sarajevo in no uncertain terms. The strength of their words serves such great justice for all the victims that fell during the 1990’s Balkan War.

Florence Hartmann, a French journalist and writer, worked for the ICTY for six years until 2006 as official spokesperson and advisor to Carla del Ponte (Chief ICTY prosecutor at the time). During her service at ICTY she wrote a book, Peace And Punishment, and an article in which she disclosed confidential documents on the involvement of the Serbian government in the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

On 19 July 2011, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY upheld the first instance decision to convict Florence Hartmann of contempt of court for disclosing (in the book and article) the “legal reasoning” of two confidential appellate rulings of the UN Tribunal approving black-outs and exclusions from critical historical war documents showing Serbia’s involvement in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. She was fined 7,000 EURO. The fine was later converted into a seven-day prison sentence, for which the ICTY issued an arrest warrant. In December 2011, France refused to extradite her.

Florence Hartmann was the first journalist to discover in October 1992 the existence and location of a mass grave at Ovcara (Croatia) containing the remains of 263 people who were taken from Vukovar’s hospital to a nearby farm and killed on 20 November 1991 by Serb forces.

Ed Vulliamy, a British journalist and writer, reported on the Bosnian war particularly on Serb concentration camps of Omarska and Trnopolje where Croatians and Muslims were held prisoners in torturous, gruesome conditions.

Both Hartmann and Vulliamy arrived in Sarajevo Friday 6 April to participate in the commemoration on the siege of Sarajevo in 1992. Upon seeing Carl Bildt there they pulled no restraints in “giving” him what he deserves: a strong condemnation of his actions, or lack of them, in failing to stop the carnage in Bosnia.

Carl Bildt, Swedish foreign minister, was Sweden’s Prime Minister 1991 – 1994, and through functions in the EU had towed the line of lunatic proportions for Serbian aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Balkan War of 1990’s.  As EU chief negotiator, he acted atrociously in blocking every assistance to Croatians and Muslims during the war. He said Slobodan Milosevic was a nice man! Undoubtedly, Bildt was the force behind the European Union politics of equating the victims with the aggressors.

In 1995, dr Franjo Tudjman, Croatia’s president, declared Bildt persona non grata in Croatia; saying that Bildt had lost all credibility as peace mediator. Bildt was so set in support of Serbian butchery in Croatia that, when Croatia set out to liberate Serb occupied regions via Operation Flash and Storm, Bildt even had the hide to demand military operations by either OUN or NATO against the Croatian army. He did not succeed. It’s a shame that Croatia’s presidents after Tudjman’s death did not uphold Tudjman’s attitude toward Bildt and simply at least ignored his presence whenever he visited the country afterwards. But, never mind, others are doing a great job in this respect, and what a great gift for Easter is the confrontation and condemnation of Bildt in Sarajevo on Good Friday by Hartmann and Vulliamy! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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)

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