Only Proper Way to Address War Crimes is in Court of Law

No matter how heinous the crime, the only proper way to address it is in a court of law, the High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, wrote in his weekly column, which appeared in the BiH press today.

Mr Schwarz-Schilling recognised that the legal process is often slow and that this makes it frustrating for the survivors. He pointed out, however, that this process holds out the prospect of justice in a way that the politicisation of war crimes – whether trial by media or calls for publication of lists of suspects – does not.

 “Media polemics, finger-pointing and political point-scoring contribute nothing to the healing process that the victims of the BiH war and their survivors of all ethnicities deserve.” the High Representative/ EU Special Representative, wrote in an article that was published in Dnevni avaz, Nezavisne novine and Večernji list. “The only way to provide justice is to build institutions and processes that are able systematically to address these issues and to stick to these processes.”

Mr Schwarz-Schilling pointed out that much had, nevertheless, been achieved in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the end of the war – more than after virtually any previous or comparable armed conflict. And he pledged to “campaign for the apprehension of the remaining ICTY indictees, to support the gathering of evidence for future prosecutions and to equip domestic institutions in such a way that they are able to take these prosecutions further”.

The High Representative/EU Special Representative concluded by citing the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “The line between good and evil runs not between political parties or nations – but right through every human heart.”