News 19 Apr 13

Prijedor War Crimes Film Shown in Belgrade

The Hague Tribunal held its Belgrade premier of the documentary film Crimes Before the ICTY: Prijedor, on Thursday.

Marina Radenkovic

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, screened the documentary film Crimes Before the ICTY: Prijedor on 18 April at the Center for Cultural Decontamination, CZKD, in Belgrade.

It was the first time the ICTY had organized an event in Serbia since the controversial acquittals of Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac in November 2012, after which the Serbian government reduced cooperation with the ICTY to operational level.

"Even though ICTY has been criticized in past months, we cannot deny its role in preserving history. It is up to people to decide if they want to hear it or not," Nerma Jelacic, head of the ICTY's Outreach programme, said.

The film is the second feature-length documentary produced by the Outreach Programme in an effort to bring the work of the ICTY closer to local communities in former Yugoslavia.

The hour-long documentary details the crimes that occurred in the Prijedor area of northwest Bosnia and the cases heard before the ICTY that dealt with these crimes. Through testimonies of survivors and documentary material used in court proceedings, the film reconstructs the crimes committed in Prijedor, and how they were revealed and prosecuted.

Speaking about the documentary, the director, Petar Finci, said: "The goals of the documentary, and the ones which will follow, are to leave proof to future generations as well as to pay tribute to the victims."

Prijedor was a site of some of most notorious crimes committed during the 1992-5 war in Bosnia and Herzgovina.

The ICTY established that from May to August 1992, Bosnian Serb forces, which had seized power in Prijedor, collected and confined more than 3,000 Bosnian Muslims and Croats from the area at a mine, a few kilometres from the predominantly Serbian village of Omarska.

The Bosnian Serb authorities also established the Keraterm and Trnopolje camps in Prijedor. The ICTY has found that more than 3,000 inmates were held in the Omarska camp and that nearly a third of them were killed there.


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