photo Srdjan Ilic / PIXSELL
By: Armin Aljovic
The former German diplomat and the High representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schwarz Schilling in an article he authored for Deutsche Welle writes that this March 'us, Europeans, two events reminded of evil deeds from the past century: the verdict for Radovan Karadzic and the chetnik parade in Visegrad'.
'One could hardly imagine different punishment for such heavy crimes, planned killings of thousands of innocent people, wrote Schwarz-Schilling referring to the verdict for Karadzic.
As we can see, Schilling is not surprised by the life sentence for Karadzic, yet he seems frustrated, as we will see later in the text, by some BH politicians who criticize verdicts of The Hague Tribunal and relativize or deny the war crimes and violations of human rights that fall in the category of the worst crimes in Europe since the World War II.
Being a seasoned politician he is, Schilling shows an attempt to understand that, reminding of a similar situation in Germany after the WWII, when some deny the Holocaust crimes in spite of the charges having been confirmed before the war crimes court in Nuremberg. That's why, then German Bundestag, the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany passed a legislation which makes denying Holocaust a punishable offence.
As it is clearly not possible to pass any such legislation in BiH because of the politicians in the parliament who would vote against it, Schilling proposed that the High representative in BiH Valentin Inzko, who oversees the Peace process, passes a legislation which would ban denial of crimes and thus protect the rule of law.
Could OHR impose a law that could at least to a degree protect the victims? The High Representative, to whom his former colleague proposes a more decisive politics as regards denial of genocide, would surely explain that at present he lacks consent by all member-countries of the Council for peace implementation in BiH for such a move, so it would be the best if the local government showed humanity and civilization pulse and create legal conditions for punishing revival of war crimes, as Inzko's Austria has done, for instance.
However, given the current circumstances, such legislation could not be passed in BiH neither with the existing politicians nor with the current climate in the Council of the Peace Implementation.
The representative of Bosnian Serbs Milorad Dodik doesn't want any legislation that would ban denial of war crimes. Recently asked by a journalist whether he would support such legislation, he proudly announced that any such initiative for new legislation at the state level which would allow for punishment of those who deny war crimes and related court verdicts would be rejected. 'It would not be the first time we reject such a thing', Dodik told journalists in Banja Luka.
Given that BH is too far from any kind of catharsis, what is then a solution for BH politicians who, not only deny the crimes, but they glorify creators of those crimes, as Milorad Dodik does when he says that Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are heroes to him? Or, what is a solution for the best student of the Faculty of Philosophy in East Sarajevo who says 'we will always be proud to spend time at the center named after Radovan Karadzic'.
The EU member countries, as well as others, could simply ban entry to fascists so they do not contaminate their respective societies.
We recently saw how the attacker on two mosques in New Zealand, the terrorist Brenton Tarrant, before his bloody rampage in Christchurch he had spent time in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was inspired by the Balkans butcher Radovan Karadzic.
One such decision of the western countries would be a decent blow to all BH criminals’ fans.
For starters, the basis for such a move could be the amendment of Slovenian Europarlamentarian Igor Soltes included in the Resolution of the European Parliament on 29 November 2018, which requests Serbia to recognize the Srebrenica genocide as a precondition for its EU integration. If Serbia cannot join the EU unless it recognizes the Srebrenica genocide, why should Dodik or Vucic, for example, as pioneers of that ideology could walk on the territories of the European Union?
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