Reports from Belgrade indicate that security forces may have taken Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Yugoslavia, in for questioning.Human Rights Watch said that an arrest of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic would only be a first step toward justice and stability in the Balkan region.
Human Rights Watch said that an arrest of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic would only be a first step toward justice and stability in the Balkan region.
"It's heartening to think that Milosevic may soon be behind bars," said Holly Cartner, executive director of the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. "But justice will not be served until he is prosecuted for the most serious crimes he's been accused of. The thousands of victims of wartime atrocities in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo have no hope of real justice until Milosevic is handed over to the tribunal in The Hague."
Yugoslav authorities have said that they intended to prosecute Milosevic on corruption and possibly assassination charges. But the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, established in The Hague under the authority of the United Nations, has indicted him for the slaughter of thousands of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in early 1999, a crime against humanity.
Last October Congress set out clear conditions for the U.S. government to continue some $100 million in economic aid to Yugoslavia. The law requires Yugoslavia to arrest and transfer those indicted by the war crimes tribunal to its custody. March 31 is the cut-off date for President Bush to certify that cooperation has occurred. "The action in Belgrade does not justify certification," said Cartner.