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 General Ratko Mladić as a victory for justice and a critical step in the healing of the former Yugoslavia.   Nearly sixteen years ago, Bosnian Serb forces under the command of General Ratko Mladić executed more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys and forced another 25,000 women, children and elderly people to leave their homes. The massacre was found to constitute genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 2004, a finding reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice in 2007.

“NPWJ and the NRPTT have consistently called for the ICTY’s doors to remain open until General Mladić could be brought before it and answer to the charges against him. To do otherwise would have been an affront to the memory of the thousands of victims still awaiting justice for the crimes committed at Srebrenica in July 1995. We applaud the resolve of everyone who has worked hard to see this day come and who have employed political and diplomatic means to ensure Serbia’s cooperation with the ICTY, including the ICTY Prosecutor, States and members of civil society in the former Yugoslavia and around the world. Today their determination has paid off.

“This is just the beginning: there needs to be continued and concerted efforts to facilitate the full and fair trial of 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, Serbia and elsewhere, to enable them to understand and follow proceedings and see, for themselves, justice being done.

“General Mladić’s arrest is first and foremost a victory for Belgrade, which has finally chosen to commit itself to the rule of law and to justice, to assume its responsibilities vis-a-vis its own citizens and the international community, and to anchor itself ever more firmly to the European Union.  It is a crucial demonstration of Serbia’s redefinition as a European country and is an ultimate landmark in Serbia’s rejoining of the community of democratic nations.

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

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-486-986 235 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3913.