Srebrenica woman says “only the mothers could judge” Mladic
Summary of story from The Telegraph, June 3, 2011
As the image of Ratko Mladic appeared on a television screen placed on a plateau in the vast Srebrenica cemetery, a stony silence descended on the 20 women watching.
Mejra Djogaz, who lost two sons in the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II, broke the silence saying that: “only the mothers [of Srebrenica] could judge him”.
Watching a live broadcast from the courtroom, the women were seated in the middle of the cemetery surrounded by thousands of simple white grave stones that dot the inclines of the memorial centre.
The women, almost all elderly and wearing headscarves, are the wives and mothers of some of the over 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed after Bosnian Serb troops led by Mladic overran Srebrenica almost 16 years ago, in July 1995.
Alispahic saw the killing of her son on television a few years ago when a home video shot by the paramilitary unit that killed her son along with five other men surfaced.
“I was watching the news and they announced ‘you will see something you have never seen before: mothers will recognise their sons, sisters their brothers” she recalled.
“I saw him (my son) get out of the truck and shouted at the television “Don’t kill him.”
For long Europe’s most wanted man for atrocities committed during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war that killed 100,000 people, Mladic was arrested in northeast Serbia last Thursday.
The 69-year-old is accused of masterminding the Srebrenica massacre – the only episode of the Bosnian war officially established as a genocide – and the 44-month siege of the capital Sarajevo from May 1992 in which 10,000 died.
Mladic refused to enter a plea Friday to 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, denouncing the charges as “obnoxious.”