The newspaper’s move follows years of public and political pressure to release these names to the public.
During her visit to Srebrenica on July 11 this year, the Hague tribunal’s chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte said, “The tribunal has never imposed an embargo on publishing the list - therefore, I will see to it that the list be made public soon."
Back in October 2004, the RS Srebrenica Commission, under pressure from the international community, released a report in which they acknowledged that Serbs had been responsible for killing thousands of Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995.
Out of 28,000 names that the full version of the report apparently contains, 892 are reported to be individuals still employed by governmental and municipal institutions.
Shortly after Del Ponte’s comments, a Muslim member of the Bosnian state presidency, Sulejman Tihic, issued a statement in which he demanded the Bosnian chief prosecutor at the War Crimes Chamber, Marinko Jurcevic, lift the embargo on making the list public.
Tihic pointed out in his statement that “hiding the names of perpetrators who committed genocide against the Bosnian Muslim population in Srebrenica…is a direct violation of the Dayton peace agreement".
But Jurcevic - whose office is looking into allegations made in the report - remained adamant that "publishing this information might jeopardise the ongoing investigations”.
“Some of those listed, who are currently under investigation, might flee," his office stated on July 20.
But on August 24, the Sarajevo-based Oslobodjenje daily published the first 69 names of more than 800 they plan to release over the next few days. They said they got the list “from a source at the Bosnian prosecutor’s office”.
Ever since this report was compiled, there had been pressure by Muslim politicians, media and non-governmental organisations to make all the names listed in the report public, especially those still employed by the state. Del Ponte even took the view that “this would be helpful” in other war crimes investigations.
Sadik Pazarac, from the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bijeljina, told IWPR, “This should have been done long ago. People should know who these persons are - and if they were involved in this crime, they should be held responsible, instead of pretending that nothing has ever happened.”