Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Tribunal: June ‘07

Reports on arrests of Serbian war crimes suspects generates flurry of republications and other media interest.
Several events this month again drew the attention of local and international media to the Hague tribunal and the importance of its work. These included the arrests of two high-profile military and police officials from Serbia and Bosnia, Vlastimir Djordjevic and Zdravko Tolimir, and a judgment in the case of former Serb rebel leader in Croatia, Milan Martic.

As a result of the media interest, reports we wrote on those events were widely republished in range of outlets, including, Turkish Weekly, Gulf Times, Croatian, Macedonian News, Press Online, etc.

Also, a number of journalists asked TU staff to comment on these events, highlighting our role as a reliable and valuable source of information.

An AFP reporter interviewed the TU project manager on the implications of Djordjevic’s arrest for a special report she was working on, while journalists from Bosnia and Serbia asked for our opinion on the 35-year sentence delivered in the case of Milan Martic.

The article we wrote on this verdict was picked up, among others, by an Italian web site Osservatorio sui Balcani and it sparked a very interesting online debate.

Another article which drew a lot of attention in June was an analytical report on Macedonia’s preparations for its first war crimes trials. The report was written by our intern from Northwestern University Sara Goodman, who spent a week in Macedonia looking into problems and challenges the local judiciary is facing while preparing for these proceedings.

“I often read IWPR’s Tribunal Update, but I would single out your article ‘Macedonia Gets Ready for War Crimes Trials’ published in June as a great piece of analytical reporting, which told us a lot about this country’s readiness to face up its recent past,” said Sead Numanovic, a reporter with Sarajevo based Avaz daily.

“We don’t talk much about Macedonia in the context of war crimes, because the focus is more on other countries in the region. But it’s good to know what’s going on in Macedonia as well, especially because it was not so much in the spotlight recently.”

In addition to the media, IWPR’s Tribunal Update is a useful source of information to a number of NGOs in the region who deal with war crimes.

Meldijana Arnaut, from the Institute for Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law at the Sarajevo University, said, “We know about IWPR and we read your TU reports every week. I visit your website very often and I am very pleased with the articles I find there. I think you cover all important issues and all those interested in that particular field can find what they are looking for.”

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