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The Design of Crime

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February 20, 2009 6:45 AM

Wellington, NZ

Wellington, NZ

In July 1995 the genocide in Srebrenica has been committed in three days by serbian military led by general Ratko Mladic while the Dutch UN troops looked the other way. As an activist, a Woman in Black, I knew it immediately. Only ten years later however, in 2005, when a tape came out in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in the International Tribunal for War Crimes in Hague, the whole world became aware of what went on in those few days.

The tape was shot by the paramilitary group ( from Serbia proper), called the Scorpions while they were executing the six bosnian civilians, mostly underage, during those days of genocide. Serbia living in denial had to face the reality: the six Scorpions were arrested and the trial was held in Belgrade. I had the "privilege" of attending the trial of war crimes in my own language, in my mother language around the corner of my house. At first I went there as a member of the pacifist feminist Women in Black group, to support the mothers from Srebrenica who came to Belgrade in order to testify in the court. But soon enough I started writing the chronicles which turned to be something like a Shakespearean tragedy. All of us, sitting in a tiny courtroom for a year and a half: the mothers, the indicted Scorpions, the free Scorpions, the families of the accused scorpions and we Women in Black.

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