Protests continue over arrest of war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic

[JURIST] Thousands of protesters gathered in cities throughout Bosnia and Serbia on Sunday to demonstrate their continued opposition to the arrest [JURIST report] of former Bosnian Serb leader and fugitive Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive]. Serbian nationalists showed their support for Karadzic by wearing T-shirts displaying his image [AP photo] and the phrase "Serbian Hero". Protesters also carried flags and congregated in churches to light candles and pray for the former leader. The large-scale demonstrations began on Tuesday when about 200 members of the extremist political group Obraz [advocacy website] clashed with riot police [AP report] in the capital city of Belgrade. Protests on Saturday were organized by Karadzic's own Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDS). Reuters has more. The Independent Online has additional coverage.

Karadzic was originally indicted [text] by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official site] in 1995, but had been in hiding under an assumed identity until his arrest last Monday. Karadzic is accused of being involved in the Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] massacre and other crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats during ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. His capture has been a major goal of the ICTY [press release], and follows the June arrest [JURIST report] of former Bosnian Serb police commander Stojan Zupljanin [Trial Watch profile]. Former ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte [BBC profile] frequently criticized Serbia for its seeming reluctance to cooperate with the ICTY, exemplified by its failure to find and capture [JURIST report] remaining war crimes suspects such as Karadzic. Karadzic's arrest is seen by some as the result of the newly appointed [IHT report] pro-western government in Serbia, which came about through an alliance between Serbian President Boris Tadic [official website; BBC profile] and the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) [official website].



 

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