Europe

UN court confirms life term for Srebrenica massacre convicts

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A UN court has confirmed life sentences for two people convicted of involvement in the massacre of Srebrenica Muslims during the Balkans War.

The Appeal Chamber “affirms the life sentence” against former Bosnian Serb Vujadin Popovic, 57, and Ljubisa Beara, 75, Judge Patrick Robinson said during a hearing at the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes court on Friday.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, set up to deal with war crimes in the Balkans, sentenced the two to life imprisonment on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2010.

During the Friday’s hearing session, the Hague-based tribunal also found three other high-ranking officials in the Bosnian Serb Army in 1995 guilty for their role in the Srebrenica massacre, Europe’s worst such incident since World War II.

The ruling confirmed prison terms of 35 and 13 years for Drago Nikolic, and Vinko Pandurevic, respectively.

The prison sentence for the fifth senior official in the Bosnian Serb Army in 1995, Radivoge Miletic, was shortened from 19 to 18 years.

They had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The eastern city of Srebrenica, located in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a UN-protected area that was besieged by Serb forces throughout the 1992-95 war for Serb domination in Bosnia.

However, the UN troops offered no resistance when the Serbs overran the majority Muslim city on July 11, 1995, rounding up Srebrenica’s Muslims and killing over 8,000 men and boys. An international court later labeled the killings as genocide.

Bosnians marked the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre by burying the remains of 175 newly-identified victims of the 1995 genocide on July 11, 2014.

According to Press TV, families of the victims bid their last farewell, laid flowers and prayed for those who were killed in the summer of 1995 in the city.

The remains, found in mass graves and identified through DNA analysis, were buried in Srebrenica during the event, bringing the total of identified victims to 6,241. A 14-year-old boy was the youngest identified victim of the Srebrenica massacre.

“We came here to honor the victims, we cannot forget what happened. 8,372 people were killed here just because they were Muslims. We are here to send a message to Europe and to tell them that they should be ashamed that they allowed this to happen,” a participant in the anniversary told Press TV.

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