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10 July 2014

Genocide in BiH

BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Often called the “crime of crimes”, the crime of genocide has been defined, in the first article of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as the intent to "destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" by committing the following acts: "killing members of the group"; "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group"; "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part"; "imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group" and finally, "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.

On July 11th, 1995, Serb forces took hold of the UN safe area of Srebrenica and systematically exterminated thousands of Bosnian Muslims, both adolescents and adults, in the largest massacre that Europe has known since the Holocaust.

In 2006 the International Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the genocide case brought by Bosnia and Herzegovina against Serbia thirteen years earlier. The Court qualified the massacre in Srebrenica as a genocide and found that Serbia, seeking neither to prevent nor punish the crime, had violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The differences between the conclusions of the judges and the cause pleaded by Bosnia and Herzegovina, which alleged that Serbia was directly responsible for genocide committed on its territory since at least 1992, has led to radical criticism of the decision.

Nowadays, numerous victims of the Srebrenica genocide have still not been identified, leaving their families with an unbearable uncertainty.

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