HASTINGS AND CARDIN WELCOME ARREST OF BOSNIAN SERB WAR CRIMES FUGITIVE RADOVAN KARADZIC
(Washington, D.C.) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairmen of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), welcomed the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who was indicted in 1995 for genocide and numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity and has been on the run ever since. Mr. Karadzic is considered the mastermind of mass killings that, according to the UN tribunal for war crimes and genocide, were described as “scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history.” They include the 1995 massacre of approximately 8,000 men and boys in the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica.
“This arrest marks a very important step for the both Serbia and Bosnia. It is my sincere hope that the apprehension of Radovan Karadzic and what I expect to be his prompt transfer to The Hague indicates a clear determination by Serbia to rid itself of the nationalist legacy of the 1990s. And I know there are thousands of surviving victims of Radovan Karadizc and his villainous acts that have waited for over a decade to see justice, and they will hopefully find closure from Karadzic’s arrest and subsequent trial. The capture and transfer to The Hague of Karadzic's military counterpart, Ratko Mladic, a needed next step, would make me not just hopeful but certain that both countries can quickly move forward in their respective post-conflict recoveries, which have been stalled by this issue, and focus fully on joining the Europe to which they both rightly belong,” said Chairman Hastings.
“This is terrific news for everyone in the world who supports human rights and justice. For too long Radovan Karadzic has thumbed his nose and eluded the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. It is my hope the arrest, conviction and sentencing of Karadzic will eventually bring some degree of closure for the families of those killed in the Srebrenica massacre,” said Co-Chairman Cardin. “I applaud the coordinated efforts of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Security Service and the various international security agencies for apprehending this war criminal.”
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.