Sonja Biserko is a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and head of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. Ms. Biserko’s recent work has focused on refugee resettlement, efforts to promote dialogue between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo and efforts to document war crimes committed in Bosnia. She was a founding member of the European Movement in Yugoslavia, the Center for Anti-War Action and the Belgrade Forum for International Relations.
Milosevic committed numerous crimes over the past ten years, beginning with his project for a “Greater Serbia,” which was actively supported by the leading power structures in Serbia. To this end, he sidelined moderate politicians and started wars throughout the Balkans. These wars destroyed cities, left hundreds of thousands displaced or dead, attempted to wipe out entire groups, and resulted, in Bosnia, in the creation of a forbidden land for Muslims and Croats, called Republika Srpska. His final years in power were marked by corruption, repression, purging of the universities, economic devastation, and demoralization of Serbian society. Milosevic should be tried in The Hague because: the crimes were not simply against the Serbian people; they were on a scale that concerns the international community; the Serbian government is legally bound to cooperate with the ICTY; questions remain regarding the Serbian judiciary’s neutrality; and there is lingering denial of the scope of Milosevic’s crimes within Yugoslavia.