We launch this campaign on the second anniversary of the July 11, 1995 fall of the so-called "safe area" of Srebrenica and the slaughter of thousands of its inhabitants. Srebrenica has become a symbol of the atrocities committed during the war in the former Yugoslavia and of the inaction of the international community. It is time for the international community, after having failed for far too long to stop the killing in Bosnia and Hercegovina, to ensure at least that the killers are brought to justice.
Most of the persons indicted for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia - including Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic - enjoy not only freedom but power: they obstruct the return of refugees, suppress dissent, and use violence and intimidation to enforce their vision of ethnically "pure" states. All have taken refuge in areas controlled by military forces of their own ethnicity, which, in turn, refuse to arrest them. NATO knows where these men are and has the legal duty and the means to apprehend them, but Western political leaders refuse to order their arrest. Unless these men are apprehended, they will continue to undermine the peace process, prevent national reconciliation, and sabotage this rare opportunity to build an international system of justice. The international community has decided to end the NATO mission in Bosnia and Hercegovina in June 1998. Time is running out. To alert the public before it is too late, Human Rights Watch and other groups are launching a campaign under the banner "Arrest Now!"
NEW YORK - Exactly two years have passed since the fall of the so-called safe area of Srebrenica, followed by the slaughter of thousands of its inhabitants. Srebrenica has become a symbol of the atrocities committed during the war in the former Yugoslavia. It is also a symbol of the inaction of the international community - not only in failing to prevent the massacre but also in failing to bring its authors to justice.
(New York - July 10, 1997) --A coalition of leading human rights groups today announced the launch of a world-wide "Arrest Now!" campaign to press western leaders to order the arrest of the persons indicted for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. The launch, joined by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Federation Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, the International Helsinki Federation and the Coalition for International Justice, is timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the July 11, 1995 fall of the so-called "safe area" of Srebrenica which was followed by the massacre of thousands of its inhabitants.
(Madrid - July 8, 1997) Human Rights Watch calls on the NATO heads of state meeting in Madrid to order NATO to apprehend the persons indicted for war crimes in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Of the seventy-six people from all sides publicly indicted so far, only ten have been taken into custody. If peace is to endure beyond the planned withdrawal of NATO troops in June 1998, the indicted war criminals must be apprehended.