Ahmici verdict - Justice needs to go further

Five Bosnian Croat men were convicted of war crimes by

the International Criminal Tribunal for former

Yugoslavia in The Hague in what the presiding judge

said was 'one of the most vicious illustrations of man's

inhumanity to man'. The men received sentences ranging

from six to 25 years' imprisonment. A sixth defendant

was acquitted.

The men had been involved in the killing of over 100

Bosniacs (Bosnian Muslims), including over 33 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and

Children's rights in AhmiÅ i village in central Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Tribunal concluded that the attack had not been

part of a combat operation but was an organised killing

of civilians.

Amnesty International renews its calls to all United

Nations member states, including Croatia and the

Republika Srpska (the Bosnian Serb entity), to provide

the Tribunal with their unconditional cooperation to

ensure that full justice is achieved for victims of war

crimes.

It is clear that the Tribunal will not be able to

carry out investigations and prosecutions in all cases

of war crimes committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this

respect Amnesty International believes it to be of

crucial importance that national courts in

Bosnia-Herzegovina will prosecute those thought to be

responsible for such crimes in trials that meet

international standards of fairness.

Amnesty International notes that the Ahmici trial

represents only the second full prosecution of all

suspects jointly charged in one indictment. However,

other prosecutions where not all jointly indicted

suspects came into the Tribunal's custody at the same

time, if at all, have resulted in great increases in

costs and length of proceedings. Amnesty International

continues to urge states contributing troops to

Stabilization Forces (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina to

seek out and arrest indictees in order for the Tribunal

to be more effective.

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