News 06 Dec 17

Ratko Mladic Posters Appear on Belgrade Streets

On the day that Bosnia's presidency members visited Serbia, posters with the image of war crimes convict Ratko Mladic and the logo of a banned far-right group were pasted on walls in Belgrade.

Danijel Kovacevic
Banja Luka
 Posters of Ratko Mladic in Belgrade. Photo: Beta.

Posters with the photograph of former Bosnian Serb Army chief Ratko Mladic, who was convicted last month of genocide and crimes against humanity, were spotted at several locations in the Serbian capital on Wednesday morning.

The posters showed Mladic with his hand raised in a military salute and the words: "I will not betray."

They were seen in large numbers in the centre of Belgrade, but also in other parts of the city.

The logo of the banned Serbian far-right movement Obraz appears on the posters.

Obraz was banned in Serbia in 2012 because of its violent activities and anti-human rights ideology, but was reformed and re-registered afterwards under a slightly different name, Serbian Obraz.

The posters appeared on the day when the three members of the Bosnian tripartite presidency visited Belgrade to meet senior officials.

The Hague Tribunal sentenced Mladic to life imprisonment on November 22.

He was arrested in 2011 after 12 years in hiding, mostly in Serbia.

Posters with Mladic's picture have also appeared in several locations in Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska since the judgment in The Hague was handed down.

A billboard poster was installed on the the road from the town of Rudo in eastern Bosnia to Sarajevo just a few days after a verdict, in the small village of Kaljina in the municipality of Sokolac.

As well as a picture of Ratko Mladic in the uniform of the Bosnian Serb Army, the billboard features the words: "The borders are drawn and framed with blood, and the homeland defends itself with all ita forces. The soldier is not dead if he gives his life to defend his homeland, he is dead if he loses his historic hearth."

The same billboard appeared several days later in the eastern town of Zvornik.

Further posters have appeared in the towns of Srebrenica, Visegrad and Bratunac in eastern Bosnia, and in the northern town of Bosanski Brod.

Hundreds of fans of Red Star Belgrade chanted support for Mladic at a match last month, while players at a small provincial Serbian club, FK Kabel, took to the field in shirts emblazoned with the convicted war criminal’s image.

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