The law condemns ... the deep and lasting injury inflicted, and calls the massacre at Srebrenica by its proper name: genocide.
Appeal Judgement, Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstić, 19 April 2004, para 37
Thousands of civilians were the victims of persecution, murder, and extermination and continue to suffer from the impact of these crimes to this day.
Trial Judgement, Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić, 24 March 2016, para 6047
The IRMCT pays tribute to the witnesses who testified about the horrors they survived during the Srebrenica genocide. Without their bravery, the truth of what happened 25 years ago would remain unknown. Through these dramatizations based on their testimonies and performed by regional actors, we remember and salute their courage and contribution to justice.
The ICTY and the IRMCT have used the immensely rich judicial record of the Srebrenica-related proceedings and presented them through the lens of a documentarian to help increase the public’s understanding of the Srebrenica genocide.
In this section, you will find a carefully curated sample of our documentaries and other videos that examine the various facets of the genocide, as established through the ICTY and IRMCT judgements. These videos, produced over the years, will give you a glimpse of the details seen, and voices heard in our courtrooms over the past 25 years.
A playlist for the videos is available. Click on a thumbnail to view a video.
[T]he murder operation – from the separations to detention to execution and burial – was a carefully orchestrated strategy to destroy aimed at the Muslim population of Eastern Bosnia ... The Trial Chamber is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that these acts were perpetrated with genocidal intent.
Trial Judgement, Prosecutor v. Popović et al, 10 June 2010, para 861
Out of 20 persons indicted for the crimes committed in Srebrenica in July 1995, final judgements have been issued against 16 accused to date; one died before the completion of his trial and proceedings are ongoing for three others. All but one of these 16 individuals were convicted for charges including genocide, murder, extermination and persecution. Three of those accused pleaded guilty to some of the crimes. They further clarified events by testifying against their co-perpetrators.
The brief summaries below concern Srebrenica-related cases that led to final judgements about the 1995 events. The case against the former President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, is not included as it was terminated following his death. The appeal case against Ratko Mladić, and the trial case against Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, are similarly excluded as they are ongoing.
The trial of Radislav Krstić, a Bosnian Serb army general, made history as the first judgement of the Tribunal affirming that criminal acts committed in Srebrenica in 1995 constituted inter alia the crime of genocide.
The Trial Chamber found that Bosnian Serb forces subjected the Bosnian Muslim refugees taking shelter in and around the UN compound at Potočari to a terror campaign of threats, insults, looting, burning of nearby houses, beatings, rapes and murders. Thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys were separated from their families and ultimately executed by Bosnian Serb forces at various locations.
The Judges were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime of genocide had occurred in Srebrenica. Taking into account the horrific nature of the atrocities, reading the judgement aloud, Presiding Judge Almiro Rodrigues directly addressed the Accused, declaring that: “… in July 1995, General Krstić, you agreed to evil.”
The Trial Chamber thus found Krstić guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law and customs of war.
The Appeals Chamber partly reversed that Judgement in April 2004. The Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s finding that “genocide was committed in Srebrenica”, but held that Krstić personally lacked genocidal intent and was thus guilty of “aiding and abetting genocide”, rather than directly perpetrating genocidal acts himself. The Appeals Chamber consequently sentenced him to 35 years’ imprisonment.
In the largest case - in terms of the number of accused - heard by the Tribunal, seven former high-ranking military and police Bosnian Serb officers were convicted for crimes following the take-over of the protected areas of Srebrenica and Žepa. The case of Vujadin Popović and others was the third case to establish that the crime of genocide was committed in Srebrenica.
The ICTY found that two joint criminal enterprises (JCE) existed in Eastern Bosnia in July 1995: the JCE to murder the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim men from Srebrenica and the JCE to forcibly remove the Bosnian Muslim population from Srebrenica and Žepa.
More specifically, the Trial Chamber found that Vujadin Popović “knew that the intent was not just to kill those who had fallen into the hands of the Bosnian Serb Forces, but to kill as many as possible with the aim of destroying the group. Popović’s ensuing robust participation in all aspects of the plan demonstrates that he not only knew of this intent to destroy, he also shared it.” The Appeals Chamber affirmed that determination.
Popović, like Ljubiša Beara, was sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war.
Their co-accused Drago Nikolić, Vinko Pandurević, Radivoje Miletić, Ljubiša Borovčanin and Milan Gvero were sentenced to terms ranging from 5 years to 35 years’ imprisonment.
ICTY Judges, both at trial and on appeal, found that Zdravko Tolimir, a senior official of the Bosnian Serb army, participated in two joint criminal enterprises (JCE): the JCE to murder the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim men from Srebrenica, and the JCE to forcibly remove the Bosnian Muslim population from Srebrenica and Žepa. The Trial Judgement read in court stated that the crimes committed were “massive in scale, severe in their intensity, and devastating in their effect.”
The Judges further found that Tolimir had knowledge of the genocidal intent of the other members of the JCE to murder Srebrenica’s male population, including the intent of his subordinate security and intelligence organs involved in carrying out the murder operation. In addition, the Tribunal established that Tolimir not only had knowledge of the genocidal intent of others, but also possessed it himself.
Tolimir was found guilty of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war. He was the third ICTY accused to be sentenced to life imprisonment for Srebrenica-related crimes. This was also the fourth ICTY case to establish that genocide was committed in Srebrenica.
Vidoje Blagojević, Dragan Jokić, Momir Nikolić and Dragan Obrenović – all officers of the Bosnian Serb army - were charged with crimes related to the atrocities committed in Srebrenica. Nikolić and Obrenović were separated from the proceedings after pleading guilty (see below). They later testified for the Prosecution against Blagojević and Jokić.
The Trial Chamber found that there had been “acts committed by Colonel Blagojević or members of the Bratunac Brigade which provided practical assistance to the murder operation that resulted in the death of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.” Blagojević was found guilty of aiding and abetting the persecutions of the Bosnian Muslim population in the Srebrenica enclave through underlying acts of murder, cruel and inhumane treatment, terrorising the civilian population and forcible transfer as crimes against humanity. He was also convicted of aiding and abetting the murder of Bosnian Muslim men in nearby Bratunac as a crime against humanity and as violation of the laws or customs of war.
It was also found that Jokić aided and abetted the murders of Bosnian Muslim men committed at Orahovac, Pilica/Branjevo military farm and Kozluk by providing machinery and equipment such as loaders and excavators, as well as personnel to dig mass graves to bury the bodies of the executed men. By aiding and abetting murder as a crime against humanity, Jokić also participated in a campaign of persecution against the Bosnian Muslim population.
Blagojević and Jokić were sentenced to 15 and 9 years’ imprisonment respectively for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Dražen Erdemović was a soldier in the 10th Sabotage detachment of the Bosnian Serb Army in July 1995. He was found to have participated in the executions of hundreds of unarmed Bosnian Muslim men and boys from the Srebrenica enclave.
Erdemović was the first person to enter a guilty plea at the Tribunal. He later testified as a witness in separate trials providing significant and detailed evidence about the crimes committed in the Srebrenica area. Erdemović read his statement of guilt before ICTY Judges on 29 Nov. 1996. He was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.
Momir Nikolić was an Assistant Commander for Security and Intelligence in the Bosnian Serb army. Due to his position, he was at the centre of the crimes that took place following the fall of Srebrenica.
It was found that Nikolić did not raise any objections when informed of the plan to deport the Muslim women, children and elderly and to separate, detain and ultimately kill the Muslim men. It was also found that Nikolić did nothing to stop the beatings, humiliation and the killing of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men, and personally co-ordinated the exhumation and re-burial of victims’ bodies.
Nikolić read his statement of guilt before ICTY Judges on 29 October 2003. He testified in other proceedings before the Tribunal, including the trial of his two co-accused Blagojević and Jokić. Nikolić was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Dragan Obrenović, was a senior officer and commander within the Bosnian Serb army in July 1995. Following his guilty plea, he was convicted for persecutions carried out through the murder of hundreds of Bosnian Muslim civilians, committed in and around Srebrenica.
Obrenović read his statement of guilt before ICTY Judges on 30 Oct. 2003, Following the terms of his plea agreement, he testified in other proceedings before the Tribunal, including those trials related to Srebrenica. Obrenović was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment.
Momčilo Perišić was the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army. His indictment included crimes committed in Srebrenica, Sarajevo and Zagreb.
The Trial Chamber found Perišić guilty for the majority of the crimes alleged in the indictment and sentenced him to 27 years’ imprisonment. Later, the Appeals Chamber decided that the evidence did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he specifically directed assistance towards the crimes committed by the Bosnian Serb army in Srebrenica. Perišić was acquitted in 2013.
This has been the first and only acquittal handed down by the Tribunal in relation to crimes committed in Srebrenica during the summer of 1995.
Radovan Karadžić was the wartime President and Supreme Commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska. The ICTY convicted Karadžić of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed by Serb forces during the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 until 1995. In particular, he was convicted of, inter alia, genocide in Srebrenica, as well as persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts (forcible transfer), terror, unlawful attacks on civilians, and hostage-taking. The Trial Chamber sentenced Karadžić to 40 years of imprisonment.
With respect to Srebrenica, the Trial Chamber found that Karadžić participated in a joint criminal enterprise to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995, through the forcible removal of Bosnian Muslim women, children, and elderly men and the killing of Bosnian Muslim able-bodied men and boys. The Trial Chamber also found Karadžić responsible as a superior in relation to certain killings committed by his subordinates. The Trial Chamber, having taken into account Karadžić’s position as President of Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its armed forces, found that he was “the sole person within Republika Srpska with the power to intervene to prevent the Bosnian Muslim males from being killed”.
Following the Trial Judgment and closure of the ICTY, the appeals proceedings in the Karadžić case were conducted before the IRMCT . In March 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the IRMCT rendered its Appeal Judgement. The Appeals Chamber upheld Karadžić’s convictions for genocide in Srebrenica, crimes against humanity, and violations of laws or customs of war, but considered that that the 40-year sentence imposed by the Trial Chamber was inadequate. The Appeals Chamber considered that this sentence underestimated the extraordinary gravity of Karadžić’s responsibility and his integral participation in “the most egregious of crimes”, which were committed throughout the entire period of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and were noted for their “sheer scale” and “systematic cruelty”. Consequently, Karadžić’s sentenced was increased to life imprisonment.
Radovan Karadžić remains in the custody of the IRMCT pending the finalization of arrangements for his transfer to a State where he will be serving his sentence.
Those who devise and implement genocide seek to deprive humanity of the manifold richness its nationalities, races, ethnicities and religions provide. This is a crime against all of humankind, its harm being felt not only by the group targeted for destruction, but by all of humanity.
Appeal Judgement, Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstić, 19 April 2004, para 36
Central commemoration ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide
Registrar's Statement: Link
A compilation of audio-visual material admitted into evidence in various ICTY/IRMCT trials related to genocide and other crimes committed in Srebrenica in July 1995 is available for use for the media.
Trial and Appeal Judgement Videos
A compiled playlist of all trial and appeal judgments of Srebrenica-related cases before the ICTY and the IRMCT is available for viewing and download.
When using IRMCT's archive material, please use the following credit: Footage courtesy of IRMCT. For third-party content, please seek permission from the content owner.
A Flickr gallery of Srebrenica-related photography is also available. Please check each photograph for copyright and photo credit information.