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ACTION ALERT: Call for a Removal of ICTY Judge Flügge from Mladic's Trial

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

IRGC Calls for Action to remove Judge Flügge from his role in the proceedings against Ratko Mladic

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: June 4, 2011  

IRGC Calls for Action to remove Judge Flügge from his role in the proceedings against Ratko Mladic


Sign the petition to remove genocide denier Judge Flugge from the Mladic case


http://www.petitiononline.com/jstcnow/petition.html

The petition to remove genocide denier Judge Flugge from the Mladic case

To the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY}

The Petition of the Institute for Reasearch of Genocide of Canada {IRGC} requests that ICTY remove Judge Flügge from his role in the proceedings against Ratko Mladic, or in any case dealing specifically with charges of genocide.

According to the “Der Spiegel” article, Judge Flügge shockingly stated in 2009 that “the term genocide to define the crimes [in Srebrenica and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 genocide and agression are] unnecessary” instead preferring to refer to it as “mass murder”. He claimed that there is no reason to differentiate between “a group that is murdered for their nationality,religion, ethnicity, or race, as is regulated by the Hague Statute” and a group that “happens to be gathered at a specific location”

Given that Judge Flugge has not retracted his statements concerning the nature of the Srebrenica genocide crimes, he is not fit to serve as a presiding judge of such a high profile case. By denying the previous ruling of the ICTY regarding the Srebrenica Genocide, Judge Flügge is unable to show impartiality to the case and is in violation of The Hague’s Rule 15(A):

“A Judge may not sit on a trial or appeal in any case in which the Judge has a personal interest or concerning which the Judge has or has had any association which might affect his or her impartiality. The Judge shall in any such circumstance withdraw, and the President shall assign another Judge to the case.”

For the purpose of a fair trial and as respect to the families of the victims and survivors of the Bosnian genocide IRGC requests that Mr. Flugge faces judicial disqualification from the Ratko Mladic trial.

Sincerely,


Send the letter for removing  Genocide denier Judge Flugge from the Mladic case to the ICTY

Sample Letter

Dear  Judge Patrick Robinson, President ICTY

Dear Judge Carmel Agius, Presiding Judge in a Specially Appointed Chamber

With the May 26th arrest of General Ratko Mladic, I was very happy because my faith in justice for the victims of the Bosnian genocide was revived. Unfortunately my hopes in justice were short lived when I heard that the head judge for this case was Christoph Flugge-a man who openly stated in 2009 in the German magazine Der Spiegel that he does not believe that the Srebrenica genocide is in fact genocide. Judge Flugge’s denial of the Srebrenica Genocide presents a conflict of interest and a risk of an unfair trial since he shares this opinion with the accused. I am deeply concerned about having Flugge on such a profiled case and I ask, for the purpose of a fair trial and as respect to the families of  the victims and survivors of the Bosnian genocide that Mr. Flugge faces judicial disqualification.

My concern is legitimate since the ICTY, the European Union, United States and Canada have accepted  the events that occurred in July of 1995 in Srebrenica as Genocide. Naming Judge Flugge as the head judge does not only play in favour of the cold blooded killer Mladic, it is also a slap in the face for all the individuals who have been tortured, raped, imprisoned, massacred or forced out of their homes. The world has put its faith, including myself into the work of the ICTY to bring justice to human rights and all the victims of genocide. Having Mr. Flugge as the head judge in a genocide case is not only unethical but it sends a message that it is possible to get away with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Judge Christoph Flugge and the accused Bosnian Serb criminals may continue to deny the Srebrenica genocide however it is important to know denial is the last step of genocide. With that in mind I ask you to remove Judge Flugge from him current position.

Thank you

Sincerely

Sign your name

Email:

press@icty.org

Fax:

003170512 5307

1.Address:

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,

Churchillplein 1,

2517 JW The Hague

The Netherlands

2.Address

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

P.O. Box 13888

2501 EW The Hague

The Netherlands

Here is what German judge Flügge stated about Srebrenica:

“I don’t want to discuss this specific case. More generally, however, I do ask myself whether we even need the term genocide to characterize such crimes. Why do we have to draw this distinction in the first place? Does it make it more or less unjust when a group of people is killed, not for national, ethnic, racist or religious reasons, as regulated in our statute, but merely because these people all happened to be in a certain location? This was often the case during Stalin’s battle against the so-called Kulaks in Ukraine. Which is why I believe that we should consider devising a new definition of the crime. Perhaps the term mass murder would eliminate some of the difficulties we face in arriving at legal definitions. It would also work in Cambodia, where Cambodians killed large numbers of Cambodians. What do you call that? Suicidal genocide? Sociocide? Strictly speaking, the term genocide only fits to the Holocaust.”

Joint Letter to ICTY Requesting Removal of Judge Flügge from the Ratko Mladic Case

May 31, 2011

H.E. Judge Patrick Robinson, President International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia P.O. Box 13888 2501 EW The Hague, The Netherlands

H.E. Judge Carmel Agius Presiding Judge in a Specially Appointed Chamber P.O. Box 13888 2501 EW The Hague, The Netherlands

The Congress of North American Bosniaks, an umbrella organization representing the interests of 350,000 American and Canadian Bosniaks, the Institute for Genocide Research Canada (IRGC) and the Australian Council of Bosnian Herzegovina Organizations (ACBHO) request that the ICTY Court remove Judge Flügge from his role in the proceedings against Ratko Mladic, or in any case dealing specifically with charges of genocide. We are surprised that Judge Flügge would be once again assigned to a case dealing with charges of genocide due to his unapologetic comments in 2009 in the German weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” in which he openly questioned the classification of Srebrenica genocide.

According to the “Der Spiegel” article, Judge Flügge shockingly stated that “the term genocide to define these crimes is unnecessary” instead preferring to refer to it as “mass murder”. He claimed that there is no reason to differentiate between “a group that is murdered for their nationality, religion, ethnicity, or race, as is regulated by the Hague Statute” and a group that “happens to be gathered at a specific location”.

CNAB requested a complete retraction of the statement made by Judge Flügge because of the fact that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has already confirmed, in several cases including the 2007 ruling against Serbia and Montenegro, the classification of the murder of more than 8,000 Bosniaks in Srebrenica as genocide. This fact has also been recognized by organizations and governments across the world, including the U.S Congress in resolutions 199 and 134 on genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Judge Flügge is therefore unable to show impartiality to the case and was in a clear violation of The Hague’s Rule 15(A). His statement also directly violated previous ICTY rulings which confirmed that the atrocities committed against Bosniaks in Srebrenica constitute genocide, in accordance with the definition from the Geneva Convention of 1949. On July 9, 2009, CNAB made the request from ICTY to remove Judge Flügge from the Karadzic case, which they did in September of 2009. We welcomed this news and assumed the matter put the rest until this latest resurrection of assignment of Judge Flügge to another high profile genocide case.

Given that Judge Flügge has not retracted his statements concerning the nature of the Srebrenica genocide crimes, he is not fit to serve as a presiding judge of such a high profile case. The arguments are still the same because the evidence is clear that because he did not unambiguously stand behind the previous ruling of the ICTY regarding the nature of the Srebrenica Genocide, Judge Flügge is unable to show impartiality to the case and is in violation of The Hague’s Rule 15(A):

“A Judge may not sit on a trial or appeal in any case in which the Judge has a personal interest or concerning which the Judge has or has had any association which might affect his or her impartiality. The Judge shall in any such circumstance withdraw, and the President shall assign another Judge to the case.”

For these reasons, CNAB requests that the Court removes Judge Flügge from his role in the proceedings against Ratko Mladic, or in any future case dealing specifically with charges of genocide. It is unacceptable that, one day after the capture of the monstrous war criminal Ratko Mladic, the victims of genocide have to deal with a judge who does not even recognize the true nature of the atrocities that claimed the lives of their loved ones.

Let us conclude with the words of honorable Theodor Meron, former presiding judge of the ICTY from his speech deliver in Potočari on 11 July 2005 at the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide:

“By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims [Bosniaks], the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general.

They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity. The Bosnian Serb forces were aware, when they embarked on this genocidal venture that the harm they caused would continue to plague the Bosnian Muslims.

The Appeals Chamber states unequivocally that the law condemns, in appropriate terms, the deep and lasting injury inflicted, and calls the massacre at Srebrenica by its proper name: genocide. Those responsible will bear this stigma, and it will serve as a warning to those who may in future contemplate the commission of such a heinous act.”

Sincerely,

Haris Alibašić, President
The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB)
www.bosniak.org

Prof. Emir Ramić, President
Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada (IRGC)
http://www.instituteforgenocide.ca/

Senada Softić-Telalović, President
Australian Council of BiH Organizations (ACBHO)

BAGI Letter to ICTY Requesting Removal of Judge Flügge from the Ratko Mladic Case

International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia

Re: Judge Flugge’s statement in Des Spiegel on June 6, 2009

Date: 06/05/11

Dear Judge Robinson:

I am writing to you as director of the Bosnian-American Genocide Institute and Education Center (BAGI) to request a clarification of Judge Flügge’s statement in Der Spiegel on July 6, 2009. With Judge Flügge’s recent appointment to the Mladic case, this statement has resurfaced and been a cause of anger and protest of his appointment by several Bosnian organizations.

After having been informed of the Judge’s appointment and the Bosnian organizations’ protest, I set out to examine the interview published in Der Spiegel, in both its English and German version, in hope to find that his statements were taken out of context or misinterpreted. As I read and reread the interview, I found that first, the interviewer’s pertinent question was based on a false premise, that the “international law experts are divided over whether the Srebrenica massacre can be defined as genocide” (emphasis added). We can maybe forgive the interviewer’s ignorance about International Tribunal’s and International Court of Justice February 2007 classification of what happened in Srebrenica as genocide (as per Case No. IT-98-33-A). However, the Judge, a representative of the International Court system, cannot be forgiven for attempting to distance himself and not educating the interviewer and all of Der Spiegel’s readership that Srebrenica had already been legally proven a genocide.

Secondly, although Judge Flügge attempts to avoid a direct comment about the case of Srebrenica, he continued to speak about genocide “more generally.” He went on to argue against a distinction between mass murder of people who “happened to be” in the same place and genocide, which is defined by the UN Genocide Convention as “any act committed with intent to destroy in whole or part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.” This questioning of the distinction undermines the international community’s work thus far in prosecuting,  educating about and preventing genocide.

As an organization that focuses primarily on education and prevention, the Bosnian-American Genocide Institute requests to see Judge Flügge publicly clarify his stance and insist that Der Spiegel publishes a clarification, in case the interviewer misinterpreted the Judge’s statement.

As a genocide scholar, I believe that genocide deniers should be prosecuted for continuing the cycle of ignorance and hatred. Sixteen European countries already have laws that prohibit the denials of the Holocaust, and some of them have also included other forms of genocide.

With all the above in mind, I find it crucial in the interest of maintaining the public’s knowledge and supporting the work that has been done by international courts, for Judge Flügge to clarify his statements.

Sincerely,

Sanja Seferovic Drnovsek

Director of the Bosnian American Genocide and Education Center

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada