The arrest of Goran Hadžić confirms Serbia’s commitment to the fight against impunity

20 Jul, 2011 | NPWJ in the News

This morning, Goran Hadžić was arrested by Serbian authorities in Fruska Gora, northwest of Belgrade. Mr Hadžić, a former Serbian leader of the Krajina enclave in Croatia during the conflict in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, is accused of killing hundreds of Croats, including the execution of more than 250 prisoners in the town of Vukovar in 1991. He is facing 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty herald today’s arrest of Goran Hadžić, the last war crimes fugitive sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as a victory for justice and a critical step in the healing of the former Yugoslavia.

“Two months after the capture of General Ratko Mladic, Goran Hadžić’s arrest further confirms the Serbian Government’s determination to close the accounts with the past and to commit itself to the rule of law and to justice. We welcome the ongoing assumption and discharge of Serbia’s responsibilities vis-a-vis its own citizens and the international community. Today’s actions anchor it ever more firmly to the European Union, as a crucial demonstration of Serbia’s redefinition as a European country, and stand as an ultimate landmark in Serbia’s rejoining of the community of democratic nations.

“NPWJ and the NRPTT hope and believe that the trial of Goran Hadžić and General Mladić will enable the ICTY to fulfil its core objective and demonstrate that violence will no longer be allowed to triumph over justice. The memory of victims both of Vukovar and Srebrenica and of countless other acts of violence around the world demand no less.

“There needs to be continued and concerted efforts to facilitate the full and fair trial of Goran Hadžić and General Mladić at the ICTY, including ensuring proper support and funding up to and including any eventual appeals. There must also be proper support and funding to enable the ICTY to conduct outreach with victims and affected communities in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and elsewhere, to enable them to understand and follow proceedings and see, for themselves, justice being done.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915.