Archive for July, 2008


July 31, 2008 4 comments

Updated: 07:11 PM

PHOTO: You’re looking at a face of Srebrenica Genocide architect. Looking gaunt, visibly shaken and in tears, Radovan Karadzic is finally facing justice after 13 years on the run.

Srebrenica genocide architect, Radovan Karadzic, appeared gaunt and tired as he faced a judge today at the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague. “I have an invisible adviser but I have decided to represent myself,” Karadzic told Judge Alphons Orie. The “invisible adviser” is not so invisible after all. His two defense teams are comprised of Srebrenica genocide deniers, hard core Serbian nationalists, and admitted liars. Karadzic was arrested in Serbia on July 21, and then extradited to face trial at the UN Court after his lawyer, Svetozar Vujacic, admitted lying.

“You are Radovan Karadzic, aren’t you?” the judge Orie, asked. “Yes, I am,” he replied.

Gaunt and visibly shaken, Karadzic listened as the Dutch UN Judge Alphons Orie read out a chilling list of atrocities contained in a lengthy 25-page indictment of war crimes, including including: genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, extermination, violation of the customs of war, murder and the taking of hostages. Karadzic declined to enter a plea to the 11 charges against him.

Karadzic’s genocide charges will focus on his key role in the Bosnian Serb leadership which orchestrated the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Bosniaks, as well as the forcible ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Srebrenica civilians. “You knew or had reasons that Bosnian Serb forces under you committed these crimes,” – said Judge Orie.

Other serious charges include the shelling of Sarajevo, where 12,000 civilians were killed during the 44-month siege – including 1,500 children – and the taking of UN peacekeepers hostage. “It is alleged that many thousands of civilians were killed including children and elderly,” said Judge Orie.

Dutch UN Judge Orie allowed Karadzic two minutes in Court Number One to make his case. Karadzic started making excuses about his rights, not even taking time to apologize to its victims. There were “irregularities” over the way he was arrested in Belgrade 10 days ago, Karadzic complained to the judge, “In Belgrade I was arrested irregularly, for three days I was kidnapped … my rights were not told me. I had no right to a telephone call or even an SMS,” he said.

Apparently, Karadzic would have surrendered himself to the court a decade ago, had he not feared for his life. He claimed that former U.S. peace mediator Richard Holbrooke is trying to kill him: “If Holbrooke still wants my death and regrets there is no death sentence at this court, I want to know if his arm is long enough to reach me here.”

Karadzic allegedly struck a deal with the US Ambasasdor Richard Holbrooke whereby if Karadzic retired from public life, the U.S. Government would not search for him. Holbrooke has in the past denied such claims. As Karadzic sought to list his grievances in detail, he was stopped short by the Judge Orie who said this was not the time or place to raise these issues and that he would have a chance to voice his complaints later.

As Karadzic was transferred to the tribunal’s detention unit in The Hague on Wednesday, ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz warned his trial may not start for months. “It will be a complex trial,” Brammertz said. “In order to prove these serious crimes, the prosecution will have to present a significant amount of evidence including the testimony of many witnesses.”

The judge set August 29th as the date for his next appearance. Under court rules if he refuses to enter a plea, then a plea of ‘not guilty’ is entered for him.

PHOTO: Radovan Karadzic before his departure to the Hague, and during his detention at the Belgrade’s War Crimes prison.


July 30, 2008 2 comments

Updated: 4:38 pm

Radovan Karadzic’s defense team is comprised of Srebrenica genocide deniers, hard core Serbian nationalists, and admitted liars.

Earlier this morning, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was taken to a prison cell in The Hague to face trial at a U.N. war crimes tribunal on charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity during Bosnia war 1992-95. He will appear before the judges tomorrow at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. EDT).

Karadzic’s Lawyer Admits Lying

Today, Karadzic’s lawyer Svetozar Vujacic admitted he lied about sending an appeal against Karadzic’s extradition to the Hague. “No, I never sent it. It was the only way to prolong my client’s stay in Serbia, in order to give his family members a chance to visit him from Bosnia,” explained the lawyer to the broadcaster B92. In any normal country he would face consequences for purposefully lying to the judges and manipulating the Court, but not in Serbia.

Team of Deniers, Ultra-nationalist, and Crooks

Radovan Karadzic’s defence team is comprised of Srebrenica genocide deniers and radical Serbian ultranationalists that will do anything to prove his innocence, including falsifying documents and lying. The first team of this well known group, headed by Smilja Avramov and including Kosta Cavoski and Milivoje Ivanisevic, will have the task to gather the ‘evidence’ (this also includes falsifying documents and lying, as was also the case with an unrepentent Srebrenica genocide denier Milivoje Ivanisevic). During his fugitive days, Radovan Karadzic (aka: Dr. Dragan David Dabic) reportedly used pseudonym “Truth Lover” (“Ljubitelj Istine“)” to send anonymous tips and documents to the Srebrenica genocide denier Milivoje Ivanisevic, who assisted in Slobodan Milosevic’ defence. The second team will include Karadzic’s lawyer and admitted liar Svetozar Vujacic and his assistant Goran Petronijevic. Reportedly, Karadzic’s daughter Sonja Karadzic might also join them to help defend a child killer, her dad, who murdered 1,500 children in Sarajevo alone.

Why is Dragan Karadzic not Arrested?

Radovan’s nephew Dragan bragged in the media how he helped protect the most wanted war criminal in the Belgrade. Yet, he was not arrested. They even allowed him to visit Radovan while he was held in the Belgrade’s War Crimes Court. In any normal country, he would be arrested and charged for helping wanted fugitive evade justice.

Meanwhile, Karadzic Family Gets Passports Back

Recently, the international high representative refused to lift Karadzic family’s travel ban so they can visit Radovan in Belgrade prison cell. He said that the children of Radovan Karadzic—Sonja and Sasha—“will have the opportunity to see their father for many years to come, which cannot be said of the victims from Srebrenica and many other places.” Unfortunately, Lajcak changed his stance today and returned them travel documents so they can go and visit the monster. Srebrenica genocide survivor, Munira Subasic lost 22 members of her family – she won’t be able to see them ever again.


July 29, 2008 5 comments



Verdicts Announced in the cases against Miloš Stupar et al., Petar Mitrović and Miladin Stevanović (Kravica Cases)

The Court of BiH today announced the first instance verdicts in the cases, Stupar Miloš and others, Mitrović Petar and Stevanović Miladin. These are the first verdicts from the Court of BiH involving Genocide charges in connection with events in Srebrenica during July 1995.

Seven (7) of the Accused were convicted for the criminal offense of Genocide pursuant to Article 171 of the CC of BiH. The Court sentenced the Accused Milenko Trifunović, Brano Džinić, and Aleksandar Radovanović to forty-two (42) years long-term imprisonment, the Accused Miloš Stupar, Slobodan Jakovljević, and Branislav Medan to forty (40) years long-term imprisonment, and the Accused Petar Mitrović to thirty-eight (38) years long-term imprisonment. All 7 Accused were convicted for their participation in the killing of more than 1000 Bosniak men in the warehouse of the Farming Cooperative Kravica on 13 July 1995 as members of the 2nd Šekovići Special Police Detachment.

The Panel found that several thousand Bosniak men were captured and detained at the Sandići meadow in the morning and afternoon of 13 July. These men were part of the column of Bosniak men attempting to break out from the Srebrenica enclave after the capture of the enclave by the forces of the Republika Srpska. Many of these men were induced to surrender by deception, and were told they would be safe and taken to territory under control of ARBiH. At least one thousand of these men were then transported by bus or marched in a column to the warehouse of the Farming Cooperative Kravica, where they were further detained. Beginning in the early evening, shortly after the arrival of the column of men, these prisoners were executed in the warehouse by small arms fire, machine gun fire and the use of hand grenades.

The Panel also found that the Accused Milenko Trifunović and Aleksandar Radovanović were in front of the warehouse shooting at prisoners, whilst Brano Džinić was throwing hand grenades at them. Accused Slobodan Jakovljević, Branislav Medan, and Petar Mitrović, acted as armed guards at the rear of the warehouse in order to prevent the detained Bosniak men from escaping the ongoing killings through the windows at the rear of the warehouse. It is also found that Accused Mitrović fired from his automatic rifle at the detainees as well. The Panel concluded that these Accused perpetrated these acts with the genocidal intent, that is, with the aim to destroy in part a group of Bosniak people. These six Accused were accordingly found guilty as co-perpetrators in the commission of the criminal offense of Genocide.

In addition, the Panel found that the Accused Miloš Stupar was at the relevant time Commander of the 2nd Šekovići Detachment of the Special Police Brigade, that he knew of the criminal acts of his subordinates, and that he failed to take measures to punish them, having the genocidal intent as well. The Accused Stupar was accordingly also convicted of the crime of Genocide on the basis of command responsibility.

Four (4) Accused, Velibor Maksimović, Dragiša Živanović, Milovan Matić, and Miladin Stevanović, were acquitted of all charges. The Panel concluded that the Prosecutor failed to present sufficient legal evidence to prove beyond doubt that these Accused participated in committing the offense of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

The custody against the Accused Miloš Stupar, Milenko Trifunović, Brano Džinić, Aleksandar Radovanović, Slobodan Jakovljević, Branislav Medan, and Petar Mitrović was extended and the time that they have spent in custody will be credited towards their sentence. The Accused Velibor Maksimović, Dragiša Živanović and Miladin Stevanović were released from custody, whilst custody against Milovan Matić was cancelled previously during the main trial.

Source: The Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina (War Crimes Chamber)


July 27, 2008 5 comments

Updated: July 29, 2008.

Will we wait another 13 years for Karadzic’s family to be arrested for protecting a wanted war criminal and yet lying how they knew nothing about his whereabouts?

Srebrenica genocide architect, Radovan Karadzic, freely traveled and regularly stayed in touch with his family. All with the help of Dragan Karadzic, son of Radovan’s brother Luka who is a radical Serb ultra-nationalist. Luka has been lately participating in demonstrations against the Karadzic’s arrest in Beglrade along with the Serbian right-wing extremist group OBRAZ, as well as the Serbian Radical party. Will Dragan and Luka Karadzic finally be arrested and charged for safeguarding the most wanted war criminal in Europe?

PHOTO: Fake tears of Ljiljana Zelen-Karadzic, wife of Srebrenica genocide architect Radovan Karadzic (aka: Dr. Dragan David Dabic). Good acting Ljiljana! You knew where he was all this time, but you kept silent!

Now we know that Radovan Karadzic’s family lied about not knowing his whereabouts. According to the only ‘free’ news media in Serbia, B92, Radovan Karadzic enjoyed watching soccer games in Italy (source). His favorite soccer teams were Inter (Milan) and Lazio (Rome) known in Italy for its right-wing rhetoric. Their fans even paid a “Tribute to the Tiger Arkan,” a late Serbian fugitive war criminal who was murdered in Belgrade back in 2000.

Dragan Karadzic confirmed to B92 that he regularly met with his uncle Radovan, but he refused to reveal where exactly Karadzic hid in the past. His uncle enjoyed reading hard-core Serbian nationalist newspapers, Kurir, and of course – the Bible. Dragan said he spoke to Radovan about the politics and pretty much about everything that happened in their family. He helped Radovan with finding safe rental apartments, and also served as a messenger, meeting with Karadzic’s family and conveying messages from Radovan.

Apparently, Dragan claims he knew he was monitored, so every time he met with Radovan, he used a different vehicle to trick investigators. Dragan was not in Belgrade at the time of Radovan’s arrest, and if he were “Radovan would not be arrested.”

Karadzic’s family has been playing this game for a long time. They have been portraying themselves as victims of the international community.

When Karadzic was arrested, his wife Ljiljana Zelen-Karadzic said she was in ‘disbelief,’ but at least she knew he was alive. In a soap-opera style acting, his wife publicly called on her husband to surrender a few years ago to spare his family the frequent searches and difficult position caused by his flight from justice. When NATO raided house of Karadzic’s wife, Ljiljana Zelen-Karadzic, they found letters from Belgrade with initials Dragan David Dabic. She was known by putting up fake tears for the media and pretending to be innocent victim who never knew where her husband was.

Lajcak authorized the confiscation of passports and travel documents belonging to Karadzic’s wife Ljiljana Zelen Karadzic and children on January 10, on suspicion that the Karadzic family was helping him hide from authorities.

The Karadzic family has asked for their travel ban to be lifted to allow them to travel to Belgrade to visit Karadzic in prison before he is extradited to the Hague Tribunal.

The international high representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina said that the children of Radovan Karadzic—Sonja and Sasha—“will have the opportunity to see their father for many years to come, which cannot be said of the victims from Srebrenica and many other places.”

The question arises: Will Dragan Karadzic and Luka Karadzic, and other family members who knew Radovan Karadzic’s whereabouts, finally be arrested and charged for safeguarding the most wanted war criminal in Europe? Probably not, considering that Serbia is a safe haven for criminals.

Recently, a Serbian thug Miladin Kovacevic brutally attacked Jewish student Bryan Steinhauer who woke up from comma couple of days ago. Kovacevic was placed into custody after the event, but released on June 5 on USD $100,000 bail. Serbian vice-consul Igor Milosevic issued the suspect a new passport after the original one was confiscated, which allowed Kovacevic to flee America. According to the Serbian officials, Kovacevic is now in Serbia and playing for a local basketball team. This is just another example of Serbia protecting criminals and refusing to extradite them. Serbia will only unwillingly extradite Karadzic because of the pressure placed on them to co-operate with the Hague Tribunal.


July 25, 2008 4 comments

Radovan Karadzic [left] in his alias as healer Dragan Dabic
poses with Serbian ‘bio energy expert’ Mina Minic.

After 13 years on the run, former Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic (aka: Dr Dragan David Dabic) was arrested on July 21st. He faces charges of Srebrenica genocide, complicity in genocide, execution, murder, punishment, deportation, inhumane acts and other crimes committed on Bosniaks, Croats and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Eight years ago, indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic has been ordered by a U.S. jury to pay $4.5 billion in damages for atrocities committed by his soldiers….


A psychiatrist, he practiced what is called “alternative” or “New Age” medicine,” wrote articles for the magazine “Healthy Life,” gave speeches and appeared on panels and had, under the name Dragan David Dabic, his own Web site located at, where the medically gullible could purchase the “Wellbeing Harmonizer.” When arrested – at a bus stop – he was said to be about ready to leave for a spa vacation.

A new details have emerged about the bizarre life of a mass murderer who evaded justice for 13 long years with the help of Serbian government, who reportedly issued fake ID’s and passport to him. Here is Radovan Karadzic’s publicly available contact information that HE provided to his gullible customers promising to heal their sexual, psychological, and other problems:

→ Karadzic’s Phone numbers: +064 39 33 095 and +062 18 77 484

→ Karadzic’s E-mail addresses: / / / (username “there is always help”) / / / / / .
→ Karadzic’s Official Web Site:


In 2005, Milorad Dodik claimed that Radovan Karadzic took about EUR 18 million from the Republic of Srpska (RS) National Bank.

“There are documents indicating that Karadzic took about EUR 36mn in a bag out of Banja Luka in 1997. First he took EUR 14mn in cash from a safe in the RS National Bank, and another time he took EUR 4mn more. By then, he had already been deposed, and was hiding from the arm of international law,” the RS prime minister said in an interview with daily Dnevni Avaz published on March 31, 2005.

“Shortly after this interview, Dodik became RS prime minister, but never launched an investigation into the fraud, for which he claimed to have evidence. Instead, he is now promising to help the Karadzic family,” the daily writes.

In an unrelated incident, Karadzic was accused of fraud during the Eighties. Accused of using tax payers’ money to build a cottage in Pale, he was taken into custody in Sarajevo on November 1, 1984, but was released 11 months later for a lack of evidence.

On September 26, 1985, he was sentenced in Sarajevo to three years imprisonment for embezzlement and deception, but he never served his sentence.


According to The Independent, “Investigators were looking at claims that the war crimes fugitive stole the identity of a man murdered by snipers in Sarajevo, who were under the command of Mr Karadzic himself.”

“My brother was killed in 1993 by a sniper bullet when he went to collect humanitarian aid”, told Mladen Dabic, the brother of the murdered man,, to a local TV in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “This is amazing, horrifying. My brother was running across a street and the sniper bullet came from the direction of Vrace.” At the time, the Vrace neighbourhood was under the control of Serbs.


Radovan Karadzic assumed Dragan David Dabic’s identity as a cover during the autocratic rule of his mentor Slobodan Milosevic, officials said Thursday, promising to track down anyone who helped the Bosnian Serb warlord stay on the run from genocide charges for nearly 13 years.

According to Rasim Ljajic, the highest ranking ethnic Bosniak government official in Serbia, the ‘real’ Dragan Dabic lives in Ruma, a Serbian town just north of Belgrade. Ljajicis in charge of the National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. “Dabic’s ID differs from Karadzic’s only in the photographs of the two,” Ljajic said.

Bruno Vekaric, spokesman for Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor, said Karadzic obtained the false papers while Milosevic’s regime was still in power. Milosevic was ousted in a popular revolt in October 2000.


Two years ago, Karadzic posing as Dragan David Dabic spent a summer holiday on the Croatian Adriatic island of Ciovo, Croatian media reported Thursday. Inhabitants say Karadzic visited a local church and spent 10 days on the island, the 24Sata daily said.

Vienna daily Kurier now claims that a doctor by the same name worked in the Austrian capital, using a Croatian passport. Radovan Karadzic, going by the nickname of ‘Pera’, allegedly treated patients in Vienna, Austria, where he arrived on a Croatian passport. One of his former patients, whose name was disclosed to the Vienna daily, but who is referred to as Stefan Graf in the article, claimed that he knew Karadzic/Dabic, who in Vienna went by the nickname of ‘Pera’. Graf’s parents and other relatives also claim to recognize ‘Pera’ after seeing the photos of Karadzic after his arrest. Graf told the Vienna daily that ‘Pera’ came to Vienna on a handful of occasions, never staying longer than three days, adding that he knew that the “miracle doctor” had also been active in Italy.

Karadzic also used his false ID to visit a monastery in Greece where he studied traditional meditative techniques, according to the Politika newspaper. When arrested – at a bus stop in Belgrade – he was said to be about ready to leave for a spa vacation.


The Daily Telegraph claims that Radovan Karadzic was arrested on the basis of information received from Ratko Mladic. The London daily, citing a source close to German secret services BND, adds that Mladic did so in order to avoid being tried for war crimes at the Hague, and be tried before the Serbian national courts instead.

“Mladic provided certain information about Karadzic, probably a few months ago, in order to save himself,“ says the source.

The paper also states that Mladic’s arrest is expected in the coming weeks, and that he is unlikely to avoid being extradited to The Hague once apprehended.


Vojvodina assembly’s security committee wants state organs to give them details of the capture of Hague fugitives.

“[Radovan] Karadzic and [Stojan] Zupljanin used the identities of dead people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means that someone must have helped them to obtain their basic documents, such as their birth certificate, while it’s a fact that someone also helped them receive Serbian citizenship. So, there are a lot of questions that the authorities will need to answer quickly,” told Committee member Milan Djukic to Novi Sad daily Dnevnik.

“We’ll insist that the Interior Ministry provide us with comprehensive details of that phenomenon, because the fact that both fugitives had fake documents issued in Vojvodina police stations points not to an isolated problem, but to a systematic practice,” stressed Djukic.


July 24, 2008 2 comments

Updated 4:26pm


REMEMBERING ZEPA ENCLAVE: In 2006 opening statements, the U.N. Prosecutor McCloskey stated that “criminal orders in war are as a rule issued verbally”, and that a few exceptions existed to the rule. One of the most striking ones is a report sent on 21 July 1995 by General Zdravko Tolimir from Zepa to General Radomir Miletic, acting Chief of General Staff of the VRS. Tolimir is asking for help to crush some BH Army strongholds, expressing his view that “the best way to do it would be to use chemical weapons.” In the same report, ‘Chemical Tolimir’ proposed striking refugee columns leaving Zepa, because that would “force the ‘Muslim’ (Bosniak) fighters to surrender quickly,” in his opinion…

As Hatidza Mehmedovic remarked the arrest of Radovan Karadzic has opened up the prospect that justice can be achieved for the victims of Srebrenica, Sarajevo and so many other places where people paid the price for Karadzic’s ambitions. What it doesn’t do, at least yet, is challenge the status of Republika Srpska, Karadzic’s creation and the concrete outcome of all the blood-shedding. RS is still to a large extent an ethnically cleansed safe haven for untried war criminals.
27 July is the thirteenth anniversary of the fall of an Eastern Bosnian safe area that rarely gets a mention in the media. Colonel Avdo Palic was the commander of Bosnian Government forces defending the United Nations-protected enclave of Zepa during the Bosnian war. In July 1995, following the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Zepa by Serb forces, an agreement was reached between the Serbs, the Bosnian government and the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). UNPROFOR would organize medical evacuations and the transportation of civilians from Zepa to Kladanj in Bosnian government-held territory. The forced evacuation from Zepa resulted in 5,000 Bosniaks reaching safety in Kladanj. The success of this forced evacuation was due in part to Colonel Avdo Palic.

He succeeded in saving Zepa’s civilian population, but paid a price. Colonel Palic was seized by armed Bosnian Serb Army soldiers from the UN compound in Zepa in front of eyewitnesses. General Mladic himself acknowledged that Palic was seized. Colonel Palic has never been seen again by representatives of the international community. He became part of another tragic statistic of this war, adding his name to the thousands of people missing. Now Colonel Palic’s wife, Esma Palic, has to live not knowing the fate of her husband. We ask you to urge the authorities in Republika Srpska to provide all relevant information on the fate of Avdo Palic and the thousands of others who went missing during the war.

He is thought to have been held for some time as a prisoner of the Bosnian Serbs but it is now fairly certain that he is dead. His widow Esma Palic has been battling for years to find out from the authorities in Republika Srpska what actually happened to her husband and where his body is buried.

Phivan Wright, of the 23rd Houston Amnesty International Group in the US, who has been a committed supporter of Mrs Palic as well as a supporter of Hasan Nuhanovic’s campaign to secure justice for his family, has sent me a letter about the next step in the Group’s campaign on behalf of Mrs Palic. (Background and information about the campaign so far are at

In an attempt to speed up the progress of enquiries and achieve a conclusion to the investigation Phivan is asking for letters / e-mails to be sent to Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, to complete the invetsiagation into Avdo Palic’s disappearnce so that those responsible can be brought to justice.

Please try and write as soon as possible and in any case in time for the anniversary of Avdo Palic’s disappearance, 27 July. And please pass on to anyone you think would be interested. The Houston Amnesty Group’s website about Avdo Palic (link below) will give you some of the background.

There’s a statement by Amnesty International about Karadzic’s arrest, and a link to an article that quotes Esma Palic commenting on the arrest at


Phivan’s message follows:

After a year-long hiatus, we (my Amnesty International group in Houston) are resuming work on the case of Avdo Palic since there has been no significant progress in the investigation in the last twelve months. For those of you who want to refresh your memory, go to (Note: this is a new URL).

When you last heard, the Republika Srspka (RS) Prime Minister had promised Esma Palic, Avdo’s wife, that he would speed up the work of the Commission appointed to investigate Avdo’s “disappearance”. Exhumations were carried out at Rasadnika, near Rogatica, and were witnessed by Mrs Palic. To date, six bodies have been exhumed, but none of those on which DNA analysis has been completed has been identified as that of Avdo’s. For the others, the results of the analysis are still to be announced. Amnesty Internaternational issued a statement in August 2007 expressing concern at the lack of progress. This month marks the 13th anniversary of Avdo’s “disappearance”. The search for his body must be speeded up and the investigation concluded without any further delay.

Attached is a sample letter to the RS Prime Minister. You will also find the letter below in case you cannot open the attachment. If you want to use email instead of snail mail, Prime Minister Dodik’s email address is and Minister of Interior Cadjo’s email address is

Please send a blind copy to me at so I can keep track of the number of letters sent. I’d be grateful if you could do it asap, or before July 27th, the 13th anniversary of Avdo’s “disappearance”. To those of you who maintain mailing lists or are members of a group, thank you for forwarding to your lists/groups.

The sample letter was drafted with Amnesty International members and people with limited time in mind. If you are not an AI member and/or want to use your own wording, that’s great. If you are writing in an Amnesty capacity, thank you for staying close to the spirit and tone of the sample letter.

I’m on vacation from this Thursday till the end of the month, and will only have intermittent access to email, but I will make every effort to get back to you promptly should you have any questions.

Thank you very much!

Phivan Wright


Phivan’s sample letter to Dodik (

Milorad Dodik
Banski Dvor
Vuka Karadzica 4
78000 Banja Luka
Republika Srpska
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dear Prime Minister,

As a member of Amnesty International, I am concerned about the continuing impunity for “disappearances” and other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed during the war in BiH, and the continuing lack of justice and redress for the victims of these violations and their relatives.

I am writing about Avdo Palic who “disappeared” from the UNPROFOR base in Zepa in 1995. This month marks the 13th anniversary of his “disappearance”. In 2001, the Human Rights Chamber instructed the RS government to carry out a full investigation into his fate, with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice, and to make all such information available to his wife, Esma Palic. It is high time that those reasonably suspected of participation in Avdo Palic’s “disappearance” are brought to justice. The search for his body must be speeded up and successfully concluded without further delay.

According to Article 6 of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, “Any person alleged to have perpetrated an act of enforced disappearance in a particular state shall be brought before the competent civil authorities of that State for the purpose of prosecution” and “All States should take any lawful and appropriate action available to them to bring all persons presumed responsible for an act of enforced disappearance, found to be within their jurisdiction or under their control, to justice”.

Furthermore, the Human Rights Chamber of BiH has ruled that the continued suffering of the “disappeared” amounts to a violation of their right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment according to Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

Thank you for keeping in mind the continued suffering of Avdo Palic’s family, and for your attention to this urgent matter. I look forward to hearing from you about any progress in this investigation.


copy to:
Minister of the Interior Stanislav Cadjo
Desanke Maksimovic 4
78000 Banja Luka
Republika Srpska
Bosnia and Herzegovina


July 22, 2008 9 comments


PHOTO: Here is your Caveman!
Radovan Karadzic aka Dragan Dabic, aka Dragan David Dabic.

Former Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted men, has been arrested in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade on Monday. His reported hide-outs included Serbian Orthodox monasteries and refurbished mountain caves in remote eastern Bosnia. He is is said to have eluded arrest so long by shaving his swoopy gray hair and disguising himself as a Serbian Orthodox priest. Karadzic is indicted for orchestrating the Srebrenica genocide, the worst attrocity in Europe since World War Two, and other grave human rights violations, including the 43-month siege of Sarajevo which claimed 12,000 lives – 1,500 of them children.

It will be interesting how Radovan Karadzic’s defence will play out in a court of law. Radical Serbian ultra-nationalists have had 13 years to forge evidence in Karadzic’s defense. What we can expect to see during the trial is forged evidence signed by “Radovan Karadzic” presumably showing that he ‘respected’ all Geneva Conventions and never intended to harm anybody.

Hopefully the international judges will not let themselves be distracted from doing their job properly.

Karadzic practiced alternative medicine in Belgrade and also worked in a private doctor’s surgery under the alias Dragan David Dabic. He had moved freely through the city, and had appeared in public places. He even appeared on radio shows and spoke in a forum dedicated to healthy lifestyles. He was even a contributor for the Zdrav Život (Healthy Life) magazine.

“A major thug has been removed from the scene,” former US envoy to the Balkans Richard Holbrooke said, describing Radovan Karadzic as the “Osama Bin Laden of Europe.”

To bring Karadzic to justice, the United States Government offered $5 million reward for information leading to his arest.

Within minutes of Karadzic’s arrest, the news had quickly spread through Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, with the city’s street jammed with honking cars and people pouring out of cafes and restaurants, many singing and chanting.

Natasha Kandic, director of the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, said to New York Times by telephone from her home moments after hearing the news: “I’m still in shock. This is historic news. Nobody believed anymore this would be possible. I was sure Karadzic was under the protection of the church.”

The White House called the arrest “an important demonstration of the Serbian government’s determination to honor its commitment to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal.”

“The arrest of Radovan Karadzic is confirmation that every criminal will eventually face justice,” said Munira Subasic, who lost 22 members of her family in Srebrenica genocide. “I hope that people who had to keep quiet because of Karadzic will start revealing the locations of mass graves and let us find the truth about our beloved ones,” she said.

“This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade. It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law,” said Serge Brammertz, the tribunal’s head prosecutor.

A statement from the EU presidency, currently held by France, said the arrest was “an important step on the path to the rapprochement of Serbia with the European Union.”

At the United Nations in New York, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, welcomed what he said was “a historic moment for the victims” of the Bosnian war who he said had waited 13 years to see Karadzic brought to justice. “Ending impunity is an essential element for achieving sustainable peace and justice in the region,” Ban said.