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

Tribunal: Nov ‘07

Tribunal project launches new radio programme, raising IWPR’s profile in the region.
In an exciting development this month, the tribunal project finally launched its radio programme, Facing Justice, produced in cooperation with Radio Free Europe, RFE, will substantially increase IWPR’s audience in the Balkans.

The launch on November 25 was very successful and those who heard it - including RFE senior management in Prague - said it was very interesting, dynamic and produced to the highest standard.

The programme contained a number of interviews with local and international officials who discussed whether Serbian confidential military documents should be made public or not.

Those interviewed by both IWPR and RFE reporters included former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic's prosecutor Geoffrey Nice, Serbia's former prime minister Zoran Zivkovic, British historian Marko Attila Hoare, human rights activist Sonja Biserko, ICTY spokeswoman for the prosecutor Olga Kavran, and many others.

The broadcast also contained vox pops from Belgrade on this subject, as well as courtsides from war crimes trials in The Hague, Belgrade and Zagreb, and news related to war crimes issues.

In addition to that, the full transcript of Facing Justice was posted on RFE's website in the South Slavic Languages section, together with a link to the IWPR website. The main page of the former has one million hits a month, and its readers are mainly people from the Balkans.

The combination of launching the radio programme - which has about 600,000 listeners in Bosnia alone and about 400,000 in the rest of the region - and posting its full transcript on the RFE website will substantially raise Tribunal Update’s profile.

The Norwegian and Swiss governments have been the main supporters of the Tribunal project, citing the importance of our work in a press release announcing the launch of the new programme.

“Establishing truth through judicial institutions is one of the pillars of dealing with the past. However, in order to ensure that dealing with the past becomes a reality, the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the whole region need to have access to exact information and understand the possibilities and limitations of the judiciary, as well as their decisions and judgments,” said the Swiss ambassador to Bosnia, Rolf Lenz.

The Norwegian ambassador to Bosnia, Jan Braathu, said that “accessible and reliable information is critical in order for people to follow the progress of war crimes trials. ‘Facing Justice’ will enhance the opportunity for people to participate as informed stakeholders in this national and regional endeavour to deal with the past.”

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