July 24, 2008
STATEMENT BY THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM ON THE ARREST OF BOSNIAN SERBIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECT RADOVAN KARADZIC
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thirteen years after the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for genocide and crimes against humanity, he was arrested and faces extradition to the Tribunal in the Hague. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum welcomes the arrest of the long time fugitive Karadzic, wanted on genocide charges for allegedly organizing the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica and other atrocities of the Bosnian war.
“It is critical that Radovan Karadzic be held accountable for his alleged leadership role during the Bosnian war, particularly for genocide committed after Srebrenica fell to his forces” said John Heffernan, Director of the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Initiative. “Our hope is that the victims will find solace in knowing that Karadzic, who has been accused of the most heinous of crimes, will be brought to justice. His arrest sends a strong message to the world that those accused of perpetrating genocide and crimes against humanity will be held accountable.”
Karadzic was the former self-styled President of the Serb Republic and Supreme Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army and is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, willful killing, persecutions, deportation, inhumane acts, and other crimes committed against Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 war. The ICTY indictment says that Karadzic’s forces killed at least 7,500 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica, the largest massacre in Europe since World War II, in July 1995 as part of a campaign to “terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population.” He is also accused of orchestrating the siege of Sarajevo. After years of limited compliance with international legal authorities, Serbian officials arrested Karadzic in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on July 21.
Still at large is the former Bosnian Serb military leader, General Ratko Mladic.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum strives to inspire leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.