Radovan Karadz̆ić Should Finally be Punished for all the Transgressions he Committed During the Bosnian Genocide


“We have to go now!” my mom screamed to my dad. She had heard whispers that bombings were forthcoming at work in a hospital in Sarajevo earlier that day. She said that she felt something horrible was brewing in the weeks to come, and that night she called all our relatives and warned them to leave everything behind and go to America with us. No one listened. We cannot leave the homes we built, the people who are too sick to flee, and all of our belongings, they said. My mom grabbed a couple of suitcases and started throwing clothes in them. She cried and cried, she was nervous about leaving her job, her parents, and close relatives, literally everything she knew, but she wanted us to be safe. We left the next morning. Sure enough, soon after, in the spring of 1992, the war began. The bombings, killings, rapes, and pillaging began soon thereafter steadily.

My note examined the case of Kadic v. Karadz̆ić, which is a consolidated action brought by the plaintiffs in Doe and Kadic, survivors of the Bosnian Genocide against Karadz̆ić. Radovan Karadžić should be charged and convicted of the crime of genocide in 1992 and throughout 1995, rather than only in 1995. The District Court upheld only the genocide indictment against Radovan Karadžić for the Srebrenica Massacre in 1995, and dismissed the genocide count for the atrocities that occurred in 1992. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal, and reinstated the charge of genocide for crimes committed at the onset of the Bosnian War in 1992 as well.

The Appeals Court pointed to evidence that in meetings Karadžić held with his subordinates at the onset of the war he had declared that it had been decided that one third of the non-Serbs would be killed, one third would be converted to the Orthodox religion and one third will leave on their own and thus all the Muslims and Croats would systematically disappear from Bosnia. Karadžić intended to destroy the non-Serb population in Bosnia from the onset of the war, and there is sufficient evidence that Bosnian Muslims and Croats were systematically mistreated, beat, raped, tortured and killed throughout the entire conflict. Consequently, on remand, the court should charge and convict Radovan Karadz̆ić of the crime of genocide in 1992 and throughout the Bosnian war.

Source: Kadic v. Karadžić

Picture: BosnianGenocide

One comment

  1. First of all, I would like to acknowledge the author’s courage and strength for speaking about such a terrifying experience and for sharing first hand knowledge about the subject on which she writes. It is very unique and such a more powerful message to read about a topic when someone has first-hand knowledge.

    Second, I agree that Karadžić should be charged and convicted from the killings that occurred in 1992 and 1995 and the rest of the Bosnian War, not just 1995. What kind of message would it send the international community if Karadžić were only to be charge with the 1995 genocide? What kind of precedent would this ruling set? Here, the Second Circuit got it right. These crimes against humanity cannot be ignored. This was an intentional and systematic operation. For that, Karadžić must be prosecuted for both genocides and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law.

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