Media Round-Up: 19 March - 01 April 2021
The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period of 19 March to 01 April 2021. The Guernica Group will provide bi-weekly media updates with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
In the US State Department’s 2020 Country Report on Human Rights Practice, it said that the Balkan and Southeast European countries continue to have problems with censorship, violence against Journalists, freedom of media and many other human rights violations.
Croatia - 29 March 2021
Vladimir Davidovic, a former Yugoslav People’s Army colonel was acquitted at a Croatian Court of ordering the Shelling in the city of Varazdin in September 1991.
Bosnia and Hercegovina - 30 March 2021
Darko Mradja appeal was rejected by the Bosnias Constitutional Court. Darko Mradja was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes against humanity by the Bosnian State court in August 2019. The Constitutional Court found that there where no violations made to the right of a fair trial by the Bosnian State Court. The Constitutional Courts ruling is final and cannot be appealed.
Bosnia and Hercegovina - 1 April 2021
Veljko Papic a former officer of the Bosnian Serb Army was sentenced to two years in prison for crimes against the civilian population. For forcing them to do hard labour and for putting the civilians in life-threatening situations in Sarajevo during the war in 1993 and 1994. Veljko Papic was sentenced in the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo, if he chooses to Mr Papic can appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Kosovo - 24 March 2021
In a letter from Atlantic Association, an association formed by Veterans of Kosovo Albanians living in the U.S, to President Biden, it was stated that the European nations are using the Kosovo Specialist Chambers to undermine the relationship between Kosovo and the U.S.. They didn’t go in to further details as to how but they also said that the court was a monotheistic court and that it should be moved from The Hague to Kosovo.
Kosovo - 26 March 2021
The U.S. State department has said that the Kosovo Specialist Chambers “have the full confidence of the U.S. government “ just a day after receiving the letter from the Atlantic Association.
Kosovo – 31 March 2021
Kosovo Police arrested a Wartime Massacre Suspect, the suspect only named by the initials M.A.. The person arrested is an ethnic Albanian but has Serbian citizenship. The detainee will soon appear before a pre-trial judge.
Montenegro - 29 March 2021
The Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights, Vladimir Leposavic doesn’t recognise the 1995 genocide of Srebrenica as genocide. He said war crimes where committed but there is not enough evidence of it being genocide. This outraged both the British and US embassy in Podgorica, who are calling for clarification from the Montenegrin government and hope it will recognise the what happened in Srebrenica was genocide.
Serbia - 24 March 2021
In a broadcast, on Radio Television Serbia, marking the anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, two freed convicts Nikola Stainovic and Vladimir Lazarevic said that they were not responsible for the crimes they were convicted for. They were both sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to 18 and 14 years in prison. Stainovic and Lazarevic where both released in 2015 after serving most of their sentences.